Treatments for Childhood Cancers of the Brain and Spinal Cord
After a child's cancer is accurately diagnosed, physicians will work together to develop a medical plan to treat it. There will be recommendations and many options. Parents may request other opinions (Second Opinions) or decide to travel to a pediatric center for care, consultation, or a specific therapy (Cancer Centers). Treatments for these cancers in a child will be different than for the same disease in an adult and can generally be more aggressive. All treatments have side effects; there may be short term inconveniences or long term consequences. Naturally, they are a secondary concern when making a choice that can save a child's life but all who care for a child should be aware of them.
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New advanced treatments and research are carried out in clinical trials, following strict protocols. Recent journal articles (Research
) may also describe these studies.
Center Watch offers Clinical Trials Listing Service. Choose disease category to find trials and new FDA drug approvals listed.
Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium is a newly formed multidisciplinary cooperative research organization devoted to the study of tumor biology and new therapies for primary CNS tumors of childhood.
The National Marrow Donor Program
Office of Alternative Medicine
Virtual Hospital - Stereotactic Procedure
There will be physical, emotional, psychological, and social side effects of a cancer diagnosis and the associated treatments. There may be disabilities and school issues to resolve. How does an adult talk about this illness to a child? What skills and knowledge will a child need? Long term follow-up will be necessary to observe for later effects. There are Neuro-oncology programs that have special clinics for children who are "off-therapy" or "Long-term survivors".
Federation for Children with Special Needs
National Center for Learning Disabilities
The Compassionate Friends
Grief support after the death of a child. Their mission is to assist families in the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child and to provide information to help others be supportive.