Mothers/Fathers are Financially Impacted Differently By Having a Child Diagnosed with Cancer

Both mothers and fathers of children diagnosed with cancer are affected financially, but in different ways, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

According to previous research has shown that when a child falls ill with cancer, the parents are affected financially as well as psychologically. The available literature shows that mothers are more affected than fathers.

“Data from a research project I’ve worked on since 2005, studying the same parents of children with cancer over a long period, indicate that fathers are affected more, in the long term, than the evidence has previously borne out. In the new study, we’ve looked into the validity of these data,” says Louise von Essen of Uppsala University’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health via a press release about the study.

In this study, researchers followed nearly 4,000 fathers and the same number of mothers 4,000 mothers of an equal number of children diagnosed with cancer in Sweden when 0-18 years old, five years before and ten years after diagnosis.


According to the results, and unsurprisingly, the cancer diagnosis of a child has negative short-term effects on fathers’ and mothers’ earnings. The long-term effects on earnings are negative for fathers, and positive for mothers. Negative short-term effects on employment were found for fathers and strong negative short-term effects for mothers. The long-term effects on employment are negative for both fathers and mothers, the researchers noted.