The emotional reactions and concerns of parents of children with cancer who had different prognoses for survival were investigated. Parents (84 mothers and 79 fathers) of 84 children with cancer who were in remission or had relapsed participated in the study. The mothers and fathers of children who had relapsed reported more feelings of helplessness and uncertainty and also reported their fears more often concerning their child's chances of survival than did the mothers and fathers of children whose cancer was in remission. Mothers of children with a relapse also reported more depression and anxiety. The problems of fathers of children who had relapsed were revealed only with the use of an illness-related questionnaire. Time since diagnosis did not change the emotional reactions of any of the parents. The authors conclude that the parents of children whose cancer has relapsed should be carefully monitored.