Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer

Information on standard treatments

Treatments for various types of childhood cancers evolve and improve over time. The treatments described in this chapter were the ones most commonly used (called standard treatments) when this book was written. You can learn about the newest treatments available by calling (800) 422-6237 and asking for the PDQ (physician data query) for childhood bone cancers. This free information, also available online at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/pediatrictreatment (scroll down to “Osteosarcoma” or “Ewing sarcoma.”) explains the disease, state-of-the-art treatments, and ongoing clinical trials. Two versions are available:

•  One for families—uses simple language and contains no statistics; and

•  One for professionals—is technical, thorough, and includes citations to scientific literature.

To learn about current Phase III clinical trials for bone sarcomas in children or teens, you can visit the National Cancer Institute’s website www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/search and type “Osteosarcoma” or “Ewing sarcoma/PNET” in the “Cancer type/condition” box, and then choose Phase III in the “Trial status/phase” box. Then click the red “Search” button at the bottom of the page.

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My daughter Casey was treated for osteosarcoma by an orthopedic oncologist. As soon as she stopped vomiting from chemotherapy, she returned to her beloved cheerleading, took up jazz dancing (she claims it was the best physical therapy), and is now on the varsity springboard diving team at her high school. She sends her orthopedic oncologist photos and videotapes of her doing these things that he claims give him heart pains. But, one day, when he observed her sitting cross-legged in his examining room, he finally admitted that she has had the best physical response of any of his patients and he took a picture of her sitting that way for a brochure. I can’t explain to you how wonderful it makes me feel to see this doctor actually glow when he sees Casey (now only once a year). He calls the whole office together to behold her!