Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

Chapter 8: Choosing a Treatment

“The challenge remains clear: to strive for the cure and health of all children through the development of more effective yet less damaging treatment for our young patients.”

— Daniel M. Green, MD, and Giulio J. D’Angio, MD

THE FIRST FEW WEEKS AFTER DIAGNOSIS are utterly overwhelming. In the midst of confusion, fear, and fatigue, you might need to make an important and sometimes difficult decision: whether to choose the best-known treatment (standard treatment) or enroll your child in an experimental treatment (clinical trial). This chapter explains helpful things to know before deciding on a treatment for your child, including the difference between standard treatment and clinical trials. It also covers questions to ask, informed consent, and stories from parents about the decisions they made.