Pediatric Cancer

If your child has been diagnosed with cancer, may be experiencing a whole range of emotions and have an equal number of questions about what to do next. Perhaps the most important thing to know at this time is that you are not alone, and neither is your child. At Banner Children’s Cancer Center, our pediatric cancer specialists are 100% committed to delivering hope and healing, while providing compassionate and expert care to children of all ages.

We have created a patient-centric care model approach where your child’s diagnosis is consulted upon, treated, followed and cared for by our expert team of physicians with over 50 years of combined training and knowledge.

What Are the Most Common Childhood Cancers?

Cancers that occur most often in children are different from those seen in adults. The most common pediatric cancers include:

In very rare cases, children can develop cancers that are more commonly found in adults, such as melanoma.

Cancer Care for Kids

At Banner Children’s Cancer Center, we’re dedicated to helping you and your child through their cancer journey every step of the way. From the moment of diagnosis through long-term survivor care, you will receive guidance every step of the way.

You and your child will have a dedicated team of pediatric cancer specialists, including oncologists, oncology nurse practitioners, patient nurse navigators, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, child life specialists, hospital teachers, psychologists, neuro-psychologist, dietitians, physical therapists and others to help you each step of the way.

We believe that a child’s physical and emotional comfort helps them heal faster and helps them get home sooner – that is our goal. We partner with our families to ensure that every aspect of care is tailored to children, teens and young adults with their own developmental, clinical and emotional needs in mind.

Pediatric Cancer Detection and Diagnosis

If your pediatrician suspects your child has cancer, they will likely refer you to a pediatric oncologist. Pediatric oncologists specialize in treating childhood cancers.

Depending on your child’s symptoms, your pediatric oncologist may order one or more of the following diagnostic procedures to confirm or rule-out a cancer diagnosis:

  • Blood tests
  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Lumbar puncture
  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Tumor biopsy

Pediatric Cancer Treatment Options

Our dedicated cancer specialists at Banner Children’s offer specialized and personalized care that is tailored to your child’s condition and needs. Treatment options include but are not limited to:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation)
  • Cellular therapies (CAR-T cells)
  • Tumor immunotherapies
  • Advanced surgical services
  • Clinical trials
  • Radiation therapy

Where Can I Find Cancer Care for My Child?

We provide pediatric oncology services at:

In addition to our treatment and care options, Banner Health offers a variety of support groups to help you, your child and the rest of your family navigate through this difficult journey.

Cancer Terminology

If your child has cancer, our team will help you navigate through this difficult journey, helping you fully understand some of the terms associated with your child’s diagnosis and treatment. Your child’s pediatric oncologists and nurse practitioners and other providers may use some of the following terms:

  • Benign: a tumor that is not cancerous but still may need treatment
  • Immunotherapy:  biological agents that alter your child’s immune system or change the body’s defense response to cancer
  • Induction chemotherapy: the first treatment or series of treatments directed at your child’s cancer
  • In situ: a Latin phrase meaning “on site” that describes a tumor meeting all the criteria for malignant cancer except for being invasive
  • Localized: a tumor that appears to be confined to where it started
  • Malignant: tumors that often grow quickly and can spread to other tissues
  • Metastatic: cancer that spreads to other areas of the body
  • Regional: cancer that has spread to organs, tissue and/or lymph nodes in the same area as where it started and appears to have not spread farther
  • Distant: cancer that has spread beyond the organs, tissue and/or lymph nodes in the same area where it started and/or has developed secondary tumors

Rest assured that while our goal is to remove all signs of cancer, your team never forgets that your son or daughter is not only a patient, but also a child. The compassionate oncology staff at Banner Children’s is here for you.