When it comes to pediatric cancer, it's always a scary thought. But the good news is that many childhood cancers are highly treatable today, with more than 80 percent of children who get cancer surviving five years or more. Physicians who specialize in pediatric oncology are pediatricians who have received additional training in cancer treatment. These doctors look for and diagnose childhood cancers and suggest the best treatment for your child.
A pediatric oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating children and adolescents suffering from cancer. To become a pediatric oncologist, a physician must complete a residency program in pediatrics, followed by a three-year fellowship program in pediatric oncology. The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) offers certification in pediatric hematology and oncology, which requires candidates to have completed a fellowship program in the field. At centers that specialize in childhood cancer, such as Yale Medicine, pediatricians, surgeons, oncologists and radiation oncologists work as a team to ensure the best possible treatment for every child.
Most pediatric cancers are treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these therapies. Chemotherapy drugs, given intravenously, attack fast-growing cells that comprise most pediatric cancers. Immunotherapy uses the body's own immune system to attack cancer cells and has become an important treatment for many types of childhood cancer.The side effects of chemotherapy can include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and low blood counts, as well as long-term side effects such as infertility and nerve damage. Increasing emphasis is being placed on the benefits of providing family-centered care in pediatric oncology wards.
During the program, students work with pediatric patients at different stages of care, including relapse and end of life.Developing an effective and practicable technology-based intervention for children in their growth and development period is far-reaching and has great potential to positively impact pediatric cancer care outcomes. As the use of technology increases worldwide, pediatric oncology nurses are uniquely positioned to collect data, monitor and design targeted educational and psychosocial support with technology-based interventions for children and their families.For decades, Yale Medicine has been part of the Pediatric Oncology Group (now the Children's Oncology Group), a global network of more than 200 hospitals dedicated to curing cancer in children. This manuscript intends to review new trends and recent approaches to care in pediatric oncology nursing.