chapter  5
20 Pages

Pediatric Cancer

The image of cancer in childhood and adolescence elicits strong emotional responses even among those never having experienced the disease in their family or friends. The image of a “terminal” illness prompts anxieties and fear in general. However, the prospect of what is perceived as a terminal illness in children and youth is almost more than can be calmly understood. However, the mortality rates in pediatric cancer over recent decades have improved greatly with consistent increase, and more major investments in research, and in the development of medical and pharmaceutical interventions. The psychosocial impact at diagnosis is historically the focus of pediatric cancer research. Currently, because of increasing survival rates, the psychosocial sequelae of surviving pediatric cancer prompt research into the survivor experience as it impacts child and youth survivors in psychological, emotional, and developmental terms. As survivorship increases, pediatric cancer survivors throughout their lives, and/or their families may seek care at various times and for various issues after the event of diagnosis itself during childhood. Accordingly, this chapter seeks to provide the best practices for intervening during diagnostic and treatment phases, and during survival years.