How to Care for Children with Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 02, 2013

Cancer is a killer disease and can take a major toll on the human body, with children it can be particularly discomforting. Know how you should care for a child diagnosed with cancer

cancer affected girl in need of care

Getting diagnosed with cancer at a tender age is disappointing; it marks the end of many youthful beginning. Children can get cancer in the exact parts of the body as in adults, however there are some differences. Cancer at a tender age can happen all of a sudden without any early symptoms that are usually visible in adults. While leukemia is the most common children’s cancer, other cancers also include brain tumors, lymphoma and soft tissue sarcoma. Most times you would be advised to let your child take part in specialised cancer centres where he or she would be taken care of along with other such children.

Special Care Centres

Cancer for a child can be distressing, and there is a need for these children to get special care and attention. Childhood cancer is relatively rare and it is important to seek treatment in centres that cater to the needs of children with cancer. These specialised programs involve health professionals who give the appropriate treatment and support the children in a way that is designed to suit children suffering from any type of cancer. Such centres are also good because their programs are designed and monitored in such a manner that it addresses the issues of long term childhood cancer survival too.

Types of Cares

When you know that your child cannot be cured of cancer then your focus should be on managing your child’s symptoms, your child’s doctor will tell you about the changes in your child’s needs and how you could be supportive. In case your child is facing terminal cancer then here are some of the ways in which he or she can be cared for.

Palliative Care

Treatment that can be given at any stage of cancer, this is to relieve the symptoms and side effects that are caused by cancer or its treatments. This gives the child a way to live as comfortable as possible, because as mentioned earlier, childhood cancer can be very disturbing for your little kid. Here in palliative care addresses the psychological, social and spiritual needs of the child and also the child’s family. This treatment is however not to treat the real cancer, but will be something that will run alongside the usual treatment for cancer. Palliative care will be on for as long as the cancer lasts.

Hospice Care

This is a type of palliative care that is usually provided to patients who are expected to live six months or less and who are not receiving any form of treatment for the cancer. This treatment is designed to help patients and their families to cope with the physical and emotional effects of the end stages of cancer that will eventually lead to an early death. However, many children with advanced cancer continue to receive cancer treatment throughout their illness will may not be permitted to follow the hospice care. This also good as parents often want their children to stay at home at such a stage, and so such a method of caring could be also practiced at the comfort of one’s home.

Moreover, it is important that you talk to your child about the situation and have a talk regarding all that is going on. However, you cannot of course talk to him or her like as though it is a conversation with an adult. Therefore, talk to your child with love and care and try and explain the situation as much as you can. Also, you cannot slacken on your efforts to comfort and love your child even for a minute.

Read more articles on Cancer Treatment

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