Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What if I have cancer?

Hi. My Mum died in 2008 of breast cancer. I have heard rumors that it could have been passed onto me. I am just worried I have got it :(

Ask Sam



I’m so glad you’ve written to me, telling me your concern about cancer possibly being passed on in your family.  I hope I can help you feel less alone with that very big worry.

You’ve told me your mum died of breast cancer several years ago, which can be such a hard thing for a young person to deal with.  Also, you’ve heard rumours that the cancer can be hereditary – passed on to children and other close relatives. 

Of course, I can’t answer medical questions because I’m not a doctor, nor are ChildLine counsellors but I can offer you lots of support and make some suggestions so that, hopefully, you can feel less worried.

I know there is a lot of cancer-related information you might either hear from others or read online. But it’s important to know that only a doctor can answer specific questions and advise you. A doctor would be able to give you clear information on the likelihood of a cancer being hereditary as well as what the proper medical checkups and precautions would be. It could be that hearing this from a doctor could really reduce the stress and worry you’re feeling.

Some young people are comfortable going to their NHS surgery and some aren’t. I also know some young people can get help from an adult with this, but that sometimes that might be difficult.

Whatever your particular situation, one idea might be to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about how you can get a doctor’s advice. You can either email a counsellor, call free on 0800 1111 or use 1-2-1 chat online (like msn). They'd really like to talk to you about what’s worrying you and help you get support.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter