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Childhood Cancer Treatment

To most effectively treat childhood cancer, doctors look at many factors before choosing how to proceed. Deciding on the best childhood cancer treatment depends on the type of cancer and the cancer stage, as well as the child’s age and general health.

The most common treatments for childhood cancers include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Proton therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

Proton therapy is considered the most leading-edge form of radiation treatment currently available. This technologically advanced delivery method causes much less damage to surrounding healthy tissue than traditional radiation therapy, lowering the risk for developing secondary cancers and long-term side effects.

Some newer cancer treatment options, such as immunotherapy, have also shown promise in effectively treating certain childhood cancers. Your child’s doctor may recommend a combination of treatments for the best outcome.

Childhood Cancers Treatment Options

All the resources of The University of Kansas Health System are available to our pediatric, teen and young adult patients:

  • Orthopedic surgery: We provide expert diagnosis and treatment for tumors within muscles, ligaments and bones.
  • Pediatric neuropsychology
  • Pediatric neurosurgery: Our pediatric neurosurgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating brain tumors and spinal cord problems in children.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Proton therapy: Proton therapy is the leading-edge form of radiation treatment currently available. Proton therapy is a form of external beam radiation that uses energized protons to deliver radiation to a tumor.
  • Radiation oncology: We perform some of the region’s most advanced radiation treatments for children and adults on site.
  • Pediatric surgery: Our procedures include both minimally invasive outpatient surgeries and complex inpatient surgeries.
  • Second opinion: A second opinion can be an important resource for adult and pediatric patients.
  • Pediatric and adult endocrinology
  • Pediatric and adult neurology
  • Pediatric and adult pulmonary
  • Behavioral and developmental pediatrics
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Life after childhood cancers

Children with cancers or blood disorders often require long-term follow-up care. Our pediatric survivorship specialists offer comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, fertility preservation, and social and emotional support services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The pediatric palliative care team provides services to meet the physical, psychological, social, educational and spiritual needs of children who have:

  • Chronic illnesses (illnesses that last 3 months or longer)
  • Life-limiting conditions
  • Parents, siblings or other family members with serious illnesses

KU Kids Healing Place provides a range of services. The center works with families to find and address needs in all environments, including hospital, home, school, daycare and extracurricular activities. We can provide services at any stage of illness. Our team:

  • Helps families identify and access resources
  • Offers training and support to families, healthcare providers, teachers, peers, coaches and others
  • Brings care providers and families together to create a patient-centered care plan
  • Provides spiritual and emotional support to patients and families

These websites may also have information that can help:

  • Connected Kansas Kids: Enables the student, parents, educators and healthcare providers to collaborate on school reentry and education goals.

  • Childrens Miracle Network: A nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America.

  • CureSearch: The world’s largest childhood cancer research organization, the Children’s Oncology Group and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation are united through their mission to cure childhood cancer.

  • Dream Street Foundation: The Dream Street Foundation provides a camping program to kids, teens and young adults with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

  • Flashes of Hope: This nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

  • National Cancer Institute: Established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, NCI is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training.

The University of Kansas Cancer Center does not assume responsibility for any of the information posted on these sites.

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