Childhood Cancer

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Where should your child receive treatment?

After tentatively diagnosing a brain or spinal cord tumor, most physicians refer the child to the closest major medical center with expertise in treating children with brain and spinal cord tumors. It is very important that your child is treated at a facility that has a full complement of specialists who are experienced in treating children with cancer, who know the latest treatment and research advances, and who work together as a team on behalf of your child. An effective treatment team will include pediatric oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, pediatric nurse practitioners, child life specialists, rehabilitation specialists, education specialists, psychologists, and social workers. Institutions that specialize in treating children with brain and spinal cord tumors will provide state-of-the-art treatment, offering your child the best chance for cure.

Just after surgery, a number of doctors came by and introduced themselves as members of our team. At first, I was startled to learn that a radiation oncologist had been assigned to us, because radiation was not part of our son’s current treatment plan. But then she explained that each member of the team would see us whenever we came to the children’s hospital pediatric brain tumor clinic. I feel better knowing our child isn’t an unknown quantity to these specialists, in case we ever do need them.