ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Child Cancer Diagnosis - What Next?

Updated on July 31, 2012

When Your Child Has Cancer

The most common types of childhood cancer are brain cancer (such as brain stem glioma and tumors), leukemia, osteosarcoma and lymphoma, affecting about 14 out of 100,000 children in the United States. When your child has cancer, what should you do? Below you'll find some tips and helpful information on what you need to know and how to cope.

You Are Your Child's Advocate

If a child is diagnosed with cancer, it's a devastating blow that affects the entire family, bringing normal life to a halt. As a parent, you need to make informed decisions about your child's care. Unforeseen difficulties are certain to crop up, adding to your stress. Anticipating and adopting strategies for dealing with potential issues can help you avoid a lot of tension as well as have a beneficial effect on your child's recovery.

Here are some of the issues you might face, and what you can do:

TREATMENT

Second Opinion: When your child receives a cancer diagnosis from the pediatrician, it's normal and natural to respond with shock and denial. Some of the symptoms of childhood cancer such as fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and frequent infections are also associated with conditions that are not cancer. You may refuse to believe the initial diagnosis and want to get a second opinion. That's your right. However, be aware that delay puts your child at risk of a less than optimal response to treatment. In general, the sooner cancer treatment begins, the more effectively the treatment is. Don't delay too long.

The Treatment Team: At the hospital or childhood cancer (pediatric oncology) center, you will meet the members of your child's treatment team. The team can include a pediatric oncologist-a specialist in childhood cancer-assigned to oversee your child's treatment, as well as pediatric oncology nurses; nurse practitioners; physician's assistant; registered dietician or nutritionist; play therapist, psychologist, social worker, and school re-entry specialist for school-age children. Other members of the team may include (depending on the type of cancer and the treatment required-radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, or a combination ) a pediatric surgeon, radiologist, radiation oncologist and/or pain specialist.

Take Notes: Whenever you speak to a doctor or health care professional about your child's prognosis and treatment, take notes. If you don't trust yourself to concentrate, bring a friend or family member with you to appointments. Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification if something isn't clear. You must assume an active role in your child's care by learning everything you can so you can make informed decisions.

Medical Records: Ask for and be sure to get copies of your child's medical records, and keep them updated. In accordance with state and federal law, you are entitled to these documents, so don't allow yourself to be put off. You may have to make your request in writing via Registered Mail or fill out a form provided by the hospital or doctor's office. Bring the updated records with you whenever your child has an appointment or procedure scheduled. This will ensure few to no errors or mix-ups in medications or treatment.

Clinical Trials: Before you make any decision about your child's participation in a clinical trial, discuss the risks and benefits with your child's treatment team. The

National Cancer Institute has a great deal of information regarding clinical trials and how to find out about programs in your area.

More information below!

Money & Other Matters

INSURANCE AND FINANCES

What You Need to Know: Your family's financial situation may change due to expenses associated with your child's care such as traveling to and from the treatment center, insurance co-payments and deductibles, medications and procedures not covered by your plan, out-of-network costs, any costs that exceed the insurance plan's lifetime maximum, as well as loss of income due to a parent taking a leave of absence from their job. The social worker on your child's treatment team can answer questions about financial assistance and help you find the right program for your needs, but it never hurts to do your own research into the possibilities. More information can be found on the following websites:

State Children's Health Insurance Program

National Cancer Institute

Medicare

Patient Advocate Foundation

CancerCare

Hill-Burton Program

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

Schoolwork: Many hospitals and treatment centers have teachers and education coordinators especially trained to help pediatric cancer patients continue their studies and complete schoolwork while undergoing treatment. Don't forget to find out if your child's school offers tutoring sessions or a special transition program to help ease them back into the regular class schedule.

Support Services: You'll find support groups for your family at most hospitals and treatment centers. You may also benefit from other groups and programs, whether on-line or in your area. Ped-Onc Resource Center has a list of organizations and interest groups as well as other helpful information.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Visits aren't always welcome when your child feels sick, and it can be difficult for them to muster the energy to talk on the phone, but it's important for your child not to feel isolated and alone. You can encourage schoolmates, friends and family to send greeting cards as a way of keeping in touch.

Artist Corrie Kuipers has designed a collection of greeting cards created especially for children, pre-teens (tweens), teenagers and young adults undergoing cancer treatment. The vibrant colors and cheerful artwork, coupled with positive messages of encouragement and support, will bring sunshine into your child's day. Here are samples of the kind of cards you can find.

See the Full Selection of Cards for Childhood Cancer Patients

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you found this lens helpful and informative, please rate or leave a comment.

Was This Lens Helpful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 

      7 years ago from England

      Lensrolled to Brain Tumor and blessed by a Squid Angel ;)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)