There are significant differences between pediatric cancer and cancer in
adults. Childhood cancers aren’t significantly influenced by lifestyle
choices and environmental factors, for instance. Children’s bodies
can also respond differently to cancer treatments. If your child has been
diagnosed with cancer, it’s crucial to turn to childhood cancer
specialists, such as Pediatric Oncology and Special Services at
Sunrise Children’s Hospital.
Surgery to remove tumors in children
When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a pediatric surgeon
at Sunrise Children’s Hospital discuss the surgical removal of tumors
in children. He explains that when the cancer does involve a solid mass
tumor, surgery is often the primary treatment. The goal of the pediatric
surgeon is to remove the entire tumor while leaving as much of the healthy
tissue as possible. Some children have cancer that does not form a solid
tumor, such as leukemia and lymphoma. These children might still be referred
to a pediatric surgeon, who can place a port to be used for chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy for pediatric cancer
Most pediatric cancers
respond better to chemotherapy drugs compared to adult tumors. The average child can also tolerate chemo better
than the body of the average adult. However, chemo can still cause serious
short-term and long-term side effects, which means the patient will need
follow-up evaluations periodically for his or her lifetime. During chemotherapy,
a child’s immune system won’t be as effective at fighting
off infections. To reduce the child’s exposure to germs, it may
be necessary to keep him or her out of school for a while. Alternative
education options are available, which parents can explore with the help
of a social worker.
Radiation therapy for pediatric cancer
Radiation therapy is painless, but it can cause short-term and long-term
side effects. It might also be frightening for young children. If your
child’s oncologist recommends radiation therapy, ask if you and
your child can tour the facility before the treatment. Seeing the treatment
area in advance may help calm your child’s nerves.
Sunrise Children’s Hospital offers more than just sophisticated,
specialized cancer treatments for young patients. At our children’s
hospital in Las Vegas, it’s our mission to give children and families
extensive emotional support and coping education. Call a nurse at (702)
233-5437 to discuss our pediatric cancer care or
Child Life services.