Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders
What to Expect
Cancer is a broad term for many diseases that affect different parts of the body. Cancer means that certain cells in the body are growing too fast. These cells don’t look or act like normal cells. Normal cells in the body grow, divide and die in an orderly way. Cancer cells do not know when to stop growing and dividing. This abnormal growth may cause normal tissue to die or all the cancer cells can group together in a lump (called a tumor).
Anyone can get cancer—adults, children, dogs, cats, and even trees. There are more than 100 types of cancer, and they are grouped by where the cells come from.
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. For this reason, your child’s cancer treatment is made specifically for her type of cancer. It is important to learn as much as possible about your child’s type of cancer and all the places it occurs within the body at the time of diagnosis.
Cancers & Treatments
Surgery may be used to take a tiny piece of tissue from your child’s cancer area. This process is called a biopsy. The biopsy helps doctors know your child’s type of cancer. Surgery may also be used to remove a tumor. This may be done before any other treatment or after chemotherapy has had a chance to shrink it.
Your care team will completely explain surgery to you and your child. Sometimes children need medicine to help them relax or sleep. Other times, a procedure is very simple and they can be awake. Don’t be afraid to ask your care team any questions you have about surgery.
Patient and Family Centered Care
We want this to be the best possible experience. We want you to write down questions or concerns you might have, and we know these will come up throughout treatment please ask so we can keep the lines of communication open. Feel comfortable talking about all types of treatments you think might benefit your child. We want to treat your child as a whole person and have a fantastic supportive care and integrative medicine team to facilitate that. We may ask about family medical history especially regarding blood disorders/cancer, please bring that information if you know of any family members with these types of conditions.
Hollywood and the internet have painted a terrible picture of cancer treatment with constant vomiting, pain, and other discomforts. We want our families to know that we care deeply about making this process as effective, comfortable, and safe as is possible. We have many supportive care medicines to help with side effects so that our patients are typically able having minimal vomiting, little to no pain, and nutrition support.
Your child can expect:
- Comfortable and state of the art consultation rooms, imaging areas and inpatient care facilities
- Compassionate delivery of diagnosis and treatment procedures
- Complete support services including social work, patient education, chaplaincy programs and other resources.
- Coordinated care from highly trained specialists in pediatric blood disorders and childhood cancer
- Cutting edge basic and translational research studies in pediatric oncology and hematology aimed to improve health and long term survival
- Specialty comprehensive clinics for children and adults with hemophilia