Pediatric Cancer Treatment

A pediatric cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things kids and families can imagine. It is devastating, life-changing news – but fortunately, there is also good news that comes alongside it, because there are many effective treatments available for various forms of childhood cancer.

Thanks to advances in pediatric oncology over the decades, in which our partners at COG have led the way, many kids can be cured of their cancer and get back to their families, school, and their friends in good health. Not only that, but COG’s research is currently furthering emerging treatments, which will help more children and teenagers become cancer-free with fewer side effects. Learn more about the most common current pediatric cancer treatment methods below, or donate to DCG Giving today – every dollar has a massive positive impact on kids across the US and their families.

Childhood Cancer Treatment Options

Many of the medical techniques used to treat childhood cancer are similar to the ones used for cancer in the general adult population. However, because kids’ and teenagers’ bodies aren’t fully physically developed, and their level of tolerance for certain types of medication may be different, these methods may have to be modified in order to treat a young patient.

Surgery

Surgical treatment of cancer involves operating on the affected area of the body to remove tumors and other cancerous tissue. In cases where surgery is effective, it can cause a swift cure. However, there is a risk of the cancer recurring if even a small amount of cancerous cells are left, and the recovery process from major surgery can be especially difficult for a child.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses intravenous, cytotoxic drugs to shrink and eventually destroy tumors. Since these drugs are introduced directly into the patient’s bloodstream, chemotherapy can work on cancer in essentially any part of the body. However, the types of drugs used in chemotherapy are toxic to many types of cells, not just cancerous ones. This means that the side effects can be very painful and severe, and the treatment process itself can also be hard on kids who have cancer, which is one reason that supportive care for children and teens with cancer and their families is so essential.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy utilizes a beam of ionizing radiation to kill malignant cells, and because it is localized to the area where this radiation is delivered, it can cure cancers that have not spread beyond one part of the body. Radiation therapy can be used in cases where surgery is not possible, but like chemotherapy, it has many side effects that require compassionate support for kids to handle.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy uses pharmaceutical means to stimulate the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. This emerging treatment is one of the newest forms of cancer care being pioneered by COG’s member hospitals and cancer centers, and has been proven effective against many types of cancer with fewer side effects than other treatment options.

Pediatric Cancer Treatment Centers

At DCG Giving, one of our goals is to help fund local institutions dedicated to treating childhood cancers so that every kid who is diagnosed can get cured close to home. Some of the organizations that benefit from DCG Giving funding include Boston Children’s Hospital, WMC MidHudson Regional Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital, all of which are among the top hospitals for pediatric cancer treatment in the country.

Research into new forms of pediatric cancer treatment is one of the most important factors that will ensure more kids get cured of cancer. Yet, there is much less federal funding available for childhood cancers than research into cancers affecting the general population, including adults. This means that every gift to DCG Giving counts – contribute today and you’ll be able to make a real difference for kids and their families right away.