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Cancer in the school community

Supporting students, staff and families

When anyone in a school community is diagnosed with cancer, people usually want to help but may not be sure where to start.

Cancer in the school community is a guide for staff members who would like to support students, families and colleagues affected by cancer.  Download the PDF here:

Cancer in the School Community
Download the PDF

It's important to remember that each cancer journey is different, and every individual navigates it in their own way. Some people want to deal with cancer privately, others welcome all support. Some want to talk about it, others just want to blend in.

How people feel about the involvement of the school community may change at different stages of the journey.

The content is relevant for all primary and secondary school staff members throughout Australia. It may also be useful for parents, students and family members.



Contents

You can download the whole guide or individual chapters that are relevant to you.

Information about cancer (PDF)

  • Introduction to cancer
  • Treatments and side effects
  • Who gets cancer
  • Common young people's cancers
Information about cancer (PDF)

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Talking about cancer (PDF)

  • Respecting privacy
  • Appointing a liaison person
  • Cultural differences
  • Communicating with all ages
  • Different views of cancer
Talking about cancer (PDF)

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When a student has cancer (PDF)

  • Supporting a student through all stages of the cancer
  • Returning to school after treatment
  • Practical changes
  • Learning impacts
  • Helping classmates understand
When a student has cancer (PDF)

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When a family member has cancer (PDF)

  • How the cancer diagnosis of a parent, sibling or other family member can affect a student
  • How your school can support the student and their family
When a family member has cancer (PDF)

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When a staff member has cancer (PDF)

  • How cancer may impact a staff member's life
  • How a school can provide support at any stage of the disease
  • Helping staff return to work | the role of the principal
When a staff member has cancer (PDF)

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The bereaved school community (PDF)

  • Ways to prepare for death
  • Helping people who are bereaved
  • Students' understanding of death
  • Planning a school memorial service
The bereaved school community (PDF)

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Finding further support (PDF)

  • Contact details for Cancer Council
  • Contact details for other support organisations
  • Education contacts
  • Fundraising contacts
Finding further support (PDF)

Download the PDF

Find out more about children, teens, and young adult cancers