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.