Physicians tend to move quickly when a child is diagnosed with cancer. That’s because some of the most common types of childhood cancers (such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), neuroblastoma, and brain tumors) can appear in a matter of days or weeks and progress rapidly. In such cases, prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are an important part of the treatment plan. So, too, are the specialists a child will see from a first visit onward.
At Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a child diagnosed with cancer will usually start by getting a series of medical tests, which can include imaging scans, biopsies (small samples of tissue or blood), and blood tests. Next, a team of pediatric specialists will make a final diagnosis and design a treatment plan. These specialists include:
Once a treatment plan has started, pediatric patients and families may also need care from different support services, including:
Throughout treatment, all of these specialists will work together, meeting regularly as a team to ensure that all of the patient’s needs are being addressed. And, after treatment, they will continue to work together to ease each child’s return to normal life, starting with the transition to survivorship programs, which help families move from active treatment to off-therapy care.
This article originally appeared on the Dana-Farber Insight blog.
Not only are we a top cancer and blood disease center, we're also a top pediatric hospital. Above, our physicians explain how our vast clinical resources benefit patients.