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Pediatric Cancer Education

As we care for kids, we also champion parents. On the first visit, it may be difficult to remember everything your pediatric oncologist said. That’s why you have the caring Banner Children’s team with you to inform, educate and comfort you and your child throughout your cancer journey. We’re in this together.

Here are some of the questions we get asked the most and definitions for some common medical terms you may hear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Cancer

Q: Can childhood cancer be prevented?
A: It’s important to understand that childhood cancer cannot be prevented as it is often difficult to attribute childhood cancer to a specific cause. The exact cause of childhood cancer often isn’t known, but they are not due to lifestyle like many adult cancers.

Q: Will my child need to see other doctors?
A: At Banner Children’s, our team of multidisciplinary experts includes oncologists, oncology nurse practitioners, pediatric surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologist, radiologist, patient-nurse navigators, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, child life specialists, psychologists, neuro-psychologists, dietitians, physical therapists and others who collaborate daily to address your child’s illness from all angles. We develop a team specific to your child’s condition and needs to ensure they get the care they need.

Q: Are there long-term side effects from cancer treatment?
A: In some cases, cancer survivors, including kids, may experience long-term side effects or impacts to their health. Your pediatric oncologist will discuss what types of side effects your child can expect.

Q: Who should we call when there are questions or problems?
A: Talk to your pediatric hematologist-oncologist about a communication plan, as they are the first ones you can call. Our comprehensive team of expert board-certified physicians, advanced specialty certified nurse practitioners, social workers, child life specialists, dieticians and other healthcare professionals is here for you to lean on.

Q: Will my child be in pain?
A: Unfortunately, cancer treatments may be painful for your child at times, but our goal is to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible. Your child’s pediatrician and your pediatric oncology team can help with pain management options and treatments.

Q: Can I be with my child during treatments?
A: The type of treatment that your child is receiving may determine whether you can be with them. Discuss your options with your oncology team and learn more about cancer treatments available for your child. {Link to Cancer Treatment Options}

Q: Will my child lose their hair?
A: Depending on the type of treatment prescribed by your child’s pediatric oncologist, your child may lose some or all their hair. In most cases, their hair will grow back when treatments are complete. Your child’s oncologist will let you know if this is a side effect your child can expect.

H2: Cancer Terminology

With any medical diagnosis, there can be a lot of unfamiliar terminology. We’re here to help you fully understand the terms associated with your child’s diagnosis and treatment. Your child’s pediatric oncologists, nurse practitioners and other providers may use some of the following terms:

  • Benign: A tumor that is not cancerous but 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 treating your child’s cancer
  • Malignant: Cancerous tumors that often grow quickly and can spread to other tissues
  • Localized: A tumor that appears to be confined to where it started
  • Metastatic: Cancer that spreads to other areas of the body

If at any time our team uses language or terms that you don’t understand, we encourage you to ask questions. We want to make sure you understand every detail of your child’s care.