Cancers are different in how fast they grow, where they spread, and how they respond to treatment. An effective treatment for one type of cancer may have no effect on a different type. At the time of diagnosis physicians try to learn what type of cancer your child has and whether it has spread. The best treatment plan is determined once the type, location, and extent of the disease is known.
When the doctors have decided on the best treatment for your child, they will explain it to you and give you a copy of the treatment plan also called a "roadmap". Treatment plans may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or other medications. The treatment plan will guide your child’s therapy and tell you the type of treatment your child will get, as well as how often and how long you must stay in the hospital or visit the clinic. Feel free to ask your doctor to review the treatment plan with you as often as you want.
Most treatment plans used at Primary Children’s Medical Center are developed by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). This is an international group of doctors and scientists who develop the best known treatments for children with cancer. The treatment plans are called research studies or research treatment plans. These treatment plans or studies are based on past experience treating thousands of children and new research findings. The goal of the treatment plans or studies is to improve the cure rate for childhood cancer while keeping side effects minimal.