Cancer is rare in children, but can happen. Cancers in the children require special expertise and infrastructure to treat. The doctors and other health professionals at our centre have special training and expertise to give complete care to these children. We have a dedicated Pediatric Oncology ward with play area for treating pediatric cancers.
Most common cancers in children are Blood cancers ( leukemias – ALL/ AML), Brain tumors, Lymphomas and various others ( liver , kidney cancers, sarcomas etc).
The main goal when treating kids with cancer is to cure them. This takes priority over everything else even if it means unwanted side effects as a result of treatment. Presently there are many medicines and therapies that can make kids more comfortable while undergoing treatment for cancer.
Types of Treatment
The types of treatment that a child with cancer receives will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced the cancer is (Stage). Common treatments include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and stem cell transplant
Most of the pediatric treatment protocols ( leukemia/lymphoma/sarcoma) are of long duration (4-12 months). Majority of these malignancies are highly curable. Children tolerate the chemotherapy sessions very well.
Coping with Cancer
Diagnosis of a child with cancer is a devastating scenario for any parent. Parents undergo enormous stress and anxiety during the treatment of their child and after completion of treatment too. Adjusting to diagnosis of cancer is very difficult for every member of family- parents and siblings of child. We have a team of dedicated compassionate empathetic social workers, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to help the family.
After the completion of the cancer treatment, children are followed up at specific intervals to detect any relapse of cancer, development of new cancer, monitor growth/ development and to look for treatment related toxicity.
The diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers takes time, and there are both short-term and long-term side effects. But thanks to medical advances, more and more kids with cancer are finishing successful treatment, leaving hospitals, and growing up just like everybody else. Today, more than 80% of all children with cancer live 5 years or more.