Tips for making the best choice for your family.
When your child has cancer, life changes dramatically. Yet, many things stay the same.
You or your partner may continue to work to provide for the family. Your child with cancer may still be in school during treatment. Your other children may have sports and other events. Even with cancer, life keeps moving.
As you process your new normal, you have a lot of decisions to make. Choosing the right place to get cancer care for your child can make things a little easier.
The Best Cancer Care for Your Child
Finding the best possible treatment for your child is your number one priority.
You can get it at pediatric cancer center, like the Nemours Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, that’s part of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). The COG is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
COG-affiliated cancer centers follow the very latest, and the same, standard of care. That means kids with the same cancer diagnosis receive the same treatment protocols, or guidelines, no matter where they go.
Children receiving care from a COG cancer center have the best outcomes and chances for survival. That’s because COG cancer centers are actively involved in important research. Their teams run clinical trials that help test treatments not available everywhere. They look for answers and share results so that kids everywhere can benefit from what they find.
There are more than 200 COG cancer centers worldwide. When you choose a COG cancer center, you can rest assured your child is getting the best care available.
Cancer Care That’s Closer to Home
Cancer treatment for a child can be all-consuming for a time. Overnight hospital stays, emergency visits and follow-up appointments are more convenient the closer you are to your child’s cancer center. And, you get the added benefit of having the same team care for your child throughout the treatment journey.
Being close to home can help the family thrive. You may be able to join in more activities and school events, which can help your child with cancer maintain a sense of normalcy and control. This is important when everything else in their world feels uncertain. Staying close to home also supports siblings and allows them to participate in your child’s care in different ways.
And when you stay in your community, you can tap into, and draw strength from, an established support system of family and friends. For many families going through cancer treatment, this support is lifechanging.
Supportive Care Available to You
If you’re at a COG cancer center, you can expect the same treatment guidelines, but not always the same support services.
At Nemours Children’s, our nurse navigators guide you from the very start. We schedule appointments, educate you about your child’s condition, help you access services and maintain an open line of communication with the care team.
Our team knows what it’s like to juggle cancer treatment and the needs of a family. We work to make the process a little easier. We offer many different services for families, such as:
- Child Life services, like play therapy and creative therapies.
- Social work support to help you find community resources.
- Patient, sibling and family support groups.
- Fertility services like egg preservation and sperm banking.
- Genetic counseling for targeted treatments and family planning.
- Neurodevelopmental support and psychology services.
- Nutrition in Sickle Cell Disease – Nemours Blog to enhance health and treatment effectiveness.
- School coordination and in Delaware Valley, on-site classrooms with certified teachers.
- Integrative therapies including massage, biofeedback and healing touch.
- On-site game rooms for children and teens.
- Survivorship programs for lifelong health and wellness.
The Right Cancer Care for Your Child
In addition to advanced treatments, convenience and support services available to your family, choosing a cancer center for your child can come down to how you feel when you’re there.
If you have time, tour the center, and talk to care providers. Do you feel comfortable? Heard? Supported? Loved? Trust your intuition. If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place.
Visit us online to earn more about the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Nemours Children’s Health.