The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that being openly informed about the diagnosis and prognosis benefits the emotional well-being of children with cancer. A stratified sample of 56 children with cancer aged 8-16 years and their parents participated. The parents were interviewed about the information they had given to their child. Self-report questionnaires were administered to the children measuring anxiety and depression. Children who received open information about their diagnosis and prognosis at the initial stage of the disease showed significantly less anxiety and depression. Our findings suggest that parents should be advised to inform their child with cancer openly and soon after the initial diagnosis. Physicians should offer help to the parents in dealing with the difficult task of confronting the child with the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.