A Quick Guide to Pediatric Cancer Treatments

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Receiving the news about your child’s diagnosis is hard. Straight away you start to wonder about the future. Would there be a future for your child? However, you need to consider what kind of therapy for pediatric cancer can help your child before you think so far ahead.

Considering the best treatment can be harder. Bear in mind, the occurrence of cancer in children is exceptional. As a result, the treatments available to them are often part of a clinical trial using a new drug. Even so, more common treatment options are also on hand.

proton therapy for cancer

Chemotherapy to Kill Cancer Cells

Chemotherapy is the widely known treatment used against cancer. Drugs used in this type of therapy are administered to the patient in several ways. Administration can be via an IV tube or by way of a capsule for the patient to swallow. It’s typically done in cycles and may involve the use of one or a combination of drugs.

However, its side effects are also well known. Even so, these are temporary and often go away once the treatment is done. The extent varies among patients and dosage given. Hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, as well as diarrhea,  are some side effects of Chemotherapy.

Surgery to Remove the Tumor

Surgery is another option available to patients. It involves undergoing an operation to remove the growth regardless if it’s malignant or benign. The tissue surrounding the tumor is likely removed even if it’s healthy. This is to ensure no cancer is left behind to allow it reoccurrence. However, microscopic tumor cells can remain even after surgery. Hence, doctors recommend a follow-up treatment like radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill these.

Bear in mind, surgery can also have certain side effects. These can range from pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and possible swelling. A surgical oncologist may perform a conventional or minimally invasive type of surgery.

Biologic Therapy to Boost Immune System

Biologic therapy also known as immunotherapy aims to boost the body’s immune system. Thus, it can help stop or slow down the growth of cancer.  Examples of this type of treatment are interferons, vaccines, and monoclonal antibodies. As expected, the treatment can also lead to side effects such as skin blistering, flu-like symptoms, and mouth sores. However, most of these disappear once the treatment ends.

Keep these treatments in mind when discussing the best therapy option for your child with cancer.