- Question from shere: My sister has breast cancer and her 15-year-old son has stopped eating and is extremely angry (weighs 93 at 5'8"). How does she help him?
- Answers - Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. This sounds concerning. I think both your sister and her son may need help from professionals trained in these issues. Dr. Schapira mentioned earlier that it is not just the patient, but the family that experiences cancer, and it is important that all members of the family who need support get it. If the son has a pediatrician, that physician can be a helpful point person for getting your nephew some trained help. Your sister's oncologist or primary care physician should be able to recommend a therapist to your sister who can help her get through this experience as a patient, and as a mother as well.
- Lidia Schapira This case demonstrates that your nephew is suffering from what's happening in the family. It is an emergency, and needs to be handled with immediate and specialized care. I agree that a phone call needs to be made quickly to the child's pediatrician to get him the help that he needs, and I also agree that your sister needs additional support because she's not coping well either, and this may have contributed to her son falling apart. Your role here is a bit tricky, but hopefully you can persuade your sister to act on her own behalf, as well as her son's.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Coping With Your Changing Feelings and Relationships featured Lidia Schapira, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answering your questions about facing your fears head-on, handling moodiness and depression, diffusing tension with your partner and feeling close without sexual activity, as well as issues of self-image and femininity.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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