Cancer in children is not very common. Only about one percent of cancers diagnosed in the United States are in children. So community doctors usually have limited knowledge of pediatric cancer treatment. This is why almost all children with cancer in the United States receive treatment through one of the children’s cancer centers that make up the Children’s Oncology Group. Seattle Children’s, a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) parent organization, is one of them.
The pediatric oncologists at Seattle Children’s have advanced training in diagnosing and treating childhood cancers. Their specialized education and experience makes a difference for children and teens families facing this disease. They understand the ways cancer starts and acts differently in children than in adults. They also create treatment plans based on established knowledge as well as the very latest research into what’s most effective and safest, specifically in children and teens.
Seattle Children’s cancer care program brings together experts from more than 20 subspecialties to provide diagnostic services and treatments, including the very latest options. The team of pediatric oncologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, Child Life specialists and chaplains partner with you to provide expert, family-centered care and compassionate support. We help you understand your child’s health and treatment options because you, your child and your family are important parts of the care team.
Because doctors at Children’s take part in national and international research studies, and often lead them, Children’s can offer new treatment options that many other hospitals cannot offer their patients. In 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Children’s cancer program number 5 in the nation.
Beyond the basics of the disease and treatment, children with cancer and their families have special needs—everything from deciding whether and how to continue schooling during treatment to planning for possible long-term effects as childhood cancer survivors become adults. Our team provides comprehensive care designed to support you, your child and your family through all aspects of the experience.
Improving the Odds for Survival
SCCA has had great success performing bone marrow transplants for infants with leukemia. Our overall rate of disease-free survival after a transplant is 76 percent, versus only 20 percent after conventional chemotherapy treatment.
Bone marrow transplants have transformed leukemia and related cancers, once thought incurable, into highly treatable diseases. The Fred Hutchinson Transplant Program at SCCA was ranked first in outcomes in a multi-year study by the National Marrow Donor Program that measured one-year survival rates of patients at 122 transplant centers in the United States.