Original Article: PDF OnlyProlonged cancer death A family affairLeonard, Katherine M. Ph.D.; Enzle, Susan Schrader Ph.D.; McTavish, Judy R.N.; Cumming, Ceinwen E. Ph.D. and; Cumming, David C. MBChB.Author Information Katherine Leonard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Portland, Oregon. Susan Enzle is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Judy MacTavish is a Nurse Clinician, Pediatric Oncology, University of Alberta Hospitals, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Ceinwen Cumming is a staff psychologist at Cross Cancer Institute and Adjunct Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. David Cumming is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ceinwen E. Cumming, Ph.D., Cross Cancer Institute, 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 1Z2. Cancer Nursing: June 1995 - Volume 18 - Issue 3 - p 222-227 Buy Abstract The frequency with which families have to deal with cancer death is increasing as the population ages. The prevalence of some cancers in younger people is also increasing. In this article the authors focus on helping families deal with the anticipated cancer death of a family member. The article includes a definition of those groups of people who form families in the 1990s and examines dimensions along which families vary such as belief systems. We discuss the needs of families when a family member has a terminal cancer diagnosis and outline coping strategies that are seen in families and ways in which nurses and other health care professionals can facilitate adaptive coping. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.