How has pediatric cancer treatment changed based on survivorship

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How has pediatric cancer treatment changed based on survivorship

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The increased survival that we thank God see, with children with cancer, has made a big difference how we approach this patients. Because, first of all, when we treat them, we know that there's a pretty good chance that that child will survive. So, we are going to pay a lot more attention to what does the treatment do, besides kill the cancer, that could be important to that child. And, could persist and be a problem for them for their lifetime. So, we make decisions now more and more. Not just based on what medicine works the best, but which medicine will be less damaging, for instance. Number two, we watch their psychological aspects and address their psychological needs during the course of the treatment afterwards. In a much more intensive and comprehensive way. Because, again, they're going to be alive for a long time afterwards. And, any psychological problems that we allow to happen, or that we can prevent, will really make a difference in that child's life for a long time. So, we approach them differently in that regard. We choose treatments now, as I said, that are based on not just the short term benefit, but the long term benefit. We want to make sure that this children not only survive their cancer medically, physically, but that they also survive the cancer with the very best quality of life for the remainder of their life time. Which often will be a normal length of time. So, it's very, very important. Survivorship is one of the major thrust of research and treatment thinking in pediatric cancer today.

Watch Stuart E. Siegel, MD's video on How has pediatric cancer treatment changed based on survivorship...

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Stuart E. Siegel, MD

Director, Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Before recently shifting his focus to international medicine, Stuart Siegel, MD, was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 35 years and the founding director of the the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology-Oncology Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He remains a leader in supportive care and research in pediatric oncology, with a special focus on neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing Sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. From developing the first pediatric protective environment in 1971 for children undergoing intensive chemotherapy, to pioneering current efforts to develop academic and clinical care programs nationally and locally for adolescents and young adults with cancer, Dr. Siegel’s contributions have revolutionized the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. Siegel has been honored for his work by the American Cancer Society, Children Foundation, the Cancer Foundation, the Chase Foundation, Padres Contra El Cancer, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he is a member of the National Board, and has consistently been listed among the nation’s top doctors in such publications asAmerica’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. He is a father of one son, Joshua; grandfather of David and Elijah; and lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife of seven years.

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