Pediatric Oncology

Children suffering from cancer

By Triston Brewer, Medical Research EditorLast modified: September 16, 2011

Pediatric Oncology

Pediatric Oncology

What is Pediatric Oncology?

Pediatric oncology deals with the treatment of children up to the age of 18 suffering from various forms of cancer. Oncology deals with the diagnosis of cancer, therapy, follow-up of patients suffering from cancer, palliative cancer of patients with terminal cases, and the ethical questions surrounding cancer care. This medical specialty is considered one of the most difficult as there is a high mortality rate involved even against ongoing treatments.

Pediatric Oncology and Its Relation to Other Disciplines

The field of pediatric oncology comprises many medical professionals interrelated with this specialty. In most hospitals, a multidisciplinary team of doctors and health care workers meet regularly to discuss patients needs in an effort to treat them in the most effective way possible. Doctors from other specialties that work closely with pediatric oncologists include pediatric surgeons, pathologists, pediatric radiologists, dermatologists, and sometimes a general practitioner. Nurses that specialize in pediatric oncology spend their careers working with children afflicted with cancer. There are also pediatric oncology social workers, child specialists, and family counselors involved in the total well being of the children as they manage the disease.

The Discipline of Pediatric Oncology


The discipline of pediatric oncology involves diagnosing and effectively treating cancer and this is executed in various ways. Surgical methods are sometimes involved to remove tumors and chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and even bone marrow transplants are sometimes necessities. Specialists that work in conjunction are also called on to treat cancer in pediatric patients, including hematologist-oncologists, anesthesiologists, and radiologists. Diagnostic methods include incisional or excisional biopsy, endoscopy, X-rays, CT scanning, MRI scanning, ultrasound, and blood tests. In general, a tissue diagnosis from a biopsy is considered crucial for the correct identification of cancer. When such an approach is not able to be executed, empirical therapy may be given based on the evidence that is available through patient chart studies (ie, medical history, X-rays, scans).

Pediatric Oncology Treatment Options


Less invasive surgery allows for the removal of tumors through small incisions which result in less pain and scarring and thus quicker recovery for the child afflicted with cancer. Special imaging techniques and instruments designed for children all physicians to reach tumors deep within the body. In lieu of recent medical advancements, amputation of limbs or extremities is no longer the only answer to bone cancer, for example, as every effort is made to remove the tumor and rebuild the bone. Surgery is the most common option, which removed cancerous tissue from the body. Radiation therapy shrinks tumors, killing cancerous cells after surgery, while chemotherapy is the use of medicines to kill the cancerous skills. Chemotherapy is usually administered orally or intravenously.

Cost of Pediatric Oncology Treatments

The cost of pediatric oncology is varies greatly depending on the cancer in question, the age of the child and possible treatment options, location of the patient, insurance premiums, and other information used. To find out which options are best for your child, it is advised to seek out an expert in the field. Check our website for a pediatric oncologist available in your city.

Find a Pediatric Oncology specialists in your area.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved

This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
View sources

© 2010 Medstar LLC. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of' s terms of use and privacy policy.

The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.