At the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) of Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, TX, the neuro-oncology clinic is dedicated to the specialized care and treatment of patients with malignant and benign tumors of the brain and spinal cord, as well as neurological complications of pediatric cancer.
Brain or spinal cord tumors can cause headaches, weakness, pain, and dizziness, and more serious side effects including loss of vision and hearing. Those affected may also experience the loss of ability to walk, talk, eat or swallow. Seizures, loss of bowel and bladder function or control, and deterioration in school performance can all occur in response to brain or spinal cord tumors.
The neuro-oncology team consists of a collaboration of neurosurgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, neurologists, social workers, pharmacists, certified pediatric oncology nurses, nutritionists and physical therapists.
How We Help Kids with Neuro-Oncological Needs
- The multidisciplinary care neuro-oncology team meets in a weekly specialty clinic and provides coordination of care and psychosocial support to patients and families.
- Immediately after a neurosurgeon is notified of a patient with a possible brain tumor, the team develops an engagement plan.
- Upon diagnosis, the team meets with the family to discuss medical and social needs.
- After the patient’s discharge from Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, the neuro-oncology coordinator arranges for the patient and family to attend the neuro-oncology clinic and meet with the entire multidisciplinary team to coordinate planning and management of the child’s disease.
- The patient continues to be seen in the neuro-oncology clinic for follow up visits.
- The team develops a strong link with the family and creates a collaborative decision-making process between each of the medical professionals.
- The team identifies problems as they surface and handles them immediately.
The neuro-oncology team’s focus is to support the family from diagnosis through survivorship.
- The team provides updated research options for neuro-oncology patients by providing open research studies from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and other brain tumor consortiums.
- The team provides a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to caring for children with central nervous system tumors that helps to improve patient and family satisfaction and medical care compliance. The Children’s Blood & Cancer Center offers the best environment in which to manage neuro-oncology patients.
- Through specialized care, patients and families enjoy improved quality of life and are better able to cope with cancer and its treatments. Patients become happier, healthier, and stronger survivors.