When your child is diagnosed with cancer, one of the first thoughts that enters your mind is HOW?
It wasn’t you
It’s a conversation you’ll have with yourself and with others many times, but I want to assure you – YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. There was not a choice you made (or didn’t make) that led to this awful circumstance.
They didn’t get cancer because…
When you haven’t had the experience of walking through cancer with your own child, it’s easy to make guesses or assumptions about the causes of cancer. Once you become part of a community of families in the same situation, you quickly see there is no rhyme or reason to these diseases. Your child did not get cancer because:
- You did or didn’t vaccinate
- You did or didn’t breastfeed
- You did or didn’t feed them all organic foods
- You did or didn’t give them antibiotics
I hope you see where I’m going with this. Unlike adult cancers which can sometimes be linked to environmental factors or lifestyle choices such as smoking, childhood cancers are NOT the same. Childhood cancers are almost always caused by gene mutations that are not inherited. “We try to emphasize to parents that they did nothing to cause their child’s cancer, and their child did nothing to cause the cancer,” says Tanya Watt, M.D., pediatric oncologist at Children’s Health℠
That can be frightening
The thought that you really can’t control whether or not your child gets cancer is frightening for parents, but there is something you can do. Become an advocate and part of the fight for a cure. If it’s something your child never needs, consider yourselves lucky, but don’t wait until it’s personal to get involved.