Fortunately for children and their families, childhood cancer is relatively rare. Therefore, pediatricians and family doctors may only see a handful of cases during their careers.
Because of this, if a family doctor suspects their patient has cancer, a referral to a specialized pediatric cancer treatment center is typically made.
The Benefits of a Cancer Center
Thanks to a specialization in pediatric cancer treatment, children being cared for at a cancer center experience better success rates. The diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer in these centers is coordinated by a team of experts who understand the unique concerns posed by children with cancer and their families. These teams typically include:
- Pediatric oncologists: doctors who use medicines to treat childhood cancer.
- Pediatric surgeons: doctors who use surgery to treat childhood cancer.
- Radiation oncologists: doctors who use radiation therapy to treat cancer.
- Pediatric oncology nurses: nurses who specialize in caring for children with cancer.
The Team Care Approach
The team available to help a child with cancer may also include many medical specialists other than nurses and doctors, such as psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, physical therapists and educators who can support and care for the entire family.
Aside from benefitting from a team of medical professionals specializing in pediatric cancer treatment, cancer centers are also able to offer the most up-to-date-treatment by conducting clinical trials of new cancer treatments.
As hubs of cancer treatment and research, children’s cancer centers often conduct many clinical trials at any one time. Taking part in these trials is always voluntary. All major pediatric cancer treatment centers also offer standard treatment plans based on the most well-known treatment for your child’s cancer type and stage.