Advanced Treatments for the Best Possible Outcomes
A team of experts for cancerous and noncancerous blood disorders in children
The leading edge of care and treatment of blood disorders is here for you and your child. With an emphasis on infants, children and young adults, our team extends compassion to patients and their families on their journey toward healing. As experts in childhood blood disorders, we understand your concerns for your child’s well-being, which is why we include you in our treatment decisions.
Our infusion and day treatment services are geared specifically toward children and their families. Your child will receive treatment in a warm and caring environment and be attended to by caregivers who realize kids just want to be kids.
Infusion therapy is a way to deliver medicines that can’t be taken by mouth. Therapies such as blood transfusions, iron therapy and chemotherapy are administered here by a skilled and compassionate team.
When you arrive for day treatment, a nurse will take your child’s vitals and explain the upcoming procedure. You are encouraged to ask as many questions as you need to make you and your child feel comfortable. Once treatment begins, we will make sure your child is comfortable and feeling okay. You are encouraged to be with your child to offer support. When treatment is finished, we will monitor your child and make sure they are ready to go home. We will give you all the information you need, detailing recovery, return to activities and possible side effects.
Most cancers require, at the minimum, surgery for biopsy (taking a sample of cells to determine the extent of the disease). Surgery may also be needed to place a central line (a thin, flexible tube that sends chemo medication into the bloodstream). As treatment progresses, other surgeries may be appropriate to shrink the size of a tumor (debulking), to view how well a tumor has responded to chemo, or for decreasing the chance of a tumor spreading.
Chemotherapy, or “chemo”, is a common treatment option that uses anticancer drugs to fight cancer cells. The drugs are designed to keep cancer cells from growing or reproducing.
Depending on the situation and the type of cancer, your child’s care team may decide to give chemo in one of several forms:
Everyone reacts to chemo a little differently, and some drugs may produce a variety of side effects. These can range from mild inconveniences like drowsiness to more troublesome issues like nausea and hair loss. In general, you can expect a mix of good and bad days for your child while they receive chemo treatments.
If your child’s case requires it, they may receive radiation treatment in addition to their chemotherapy. Radiation uses high levels of energy to attack cancer cells. In general, radiation side effects are not severe. Some of the most common issues are skin problems, exhaustion and low red blood cells (anemia).
Following chemo and radiation treatments, your child’s team will determine how much the cancer has been lessened and if there is a need for further rounds of treatment.
Some blood cancers and noncancerous blood disorders are best treated through blood transfusions. With chronic (long-term) illnesses such as sickle cell, transfusions may be needed periodically throughout your child’s life. Our team will carefully discuss these options with you.
We offer many resources to support your child and family through this stressful time. Some different resources available are our Child Life program, pet therapy services, art therapy, MusicRX, social workers and psychologists.