CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Get insights and inspiration from Nemours’ experts in Hematology/Oncology.
If you’ve just learned your child may have leukemia, you want the very best treatment and care possible. At Nemours, our pediatric cancer specialists offer compassionate and comprehensive care, hope, and healing, to help treat leukemia in children. We’ll guide your family, every step of the way, throughout your pediatric leukemia journey.
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
Bring these forms for your first appointment:
A cancer diagnosis is hard for any parent to grasp. If you’ve just found out your child may have cancer, you might be filled with a variety of emotions — from numbness and denial to fear, anger, and confusion. At Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, we understand how you feel. But you don’t have to fight alone — and there is hope for a better tomorrow.
Today, about 80% of childhood cancers can be cured. That means most kids with cancer can — and do — get better. If your child is facing cancer, know that
we’re here to give your child the most compassionate, comprehensive cancer
When you come to duPont Hospital for Children, you get a whole team of professionals — like an extended family — devoted to your child. Our expansive pediatric cancer care team helps families like yours throughout the course of your cancer journey, from diagnosis to survivorship, providing the most up-to-date treatments, advanced research, and family-centered care from the pediatric oncology and hematology experts at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD).
The Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders allows our specialists to pool their resources and expertise to provide better care to children with all types of cancers and blood disorders (including bone marrow failure and sickle cell disease).
As part of the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research (NCCCR,
our research arm), doctors and other scientists throughout Nemours – and beyond — collaborate to study cancer and investigate potential new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat children with cancer.
As a children’s health system, we take great pride in research at Nemours so that we can better serve children with cancer and blood and bone disorders today and in the future.
The mission of our pediatric cancer specialists and scientists is to build
one of the nation’s top childhood cancer research centers — developing strategies to improve prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood cancers.
Our overarching goal is to achieve a 100% cure rate of childhood cancers — and with minimal side effects. We aim to do “whatever it takes” to support research into finding new and better treatment options. Our center is a place where scientists, doctors, patients, families, and the community can come together to improve children’s health.
The pediatric cancer care team at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders includes a variety of physicians and health professionals dedicated to treating children with cancer and blood disorders.
Depending on your child’s cancer, your family will interact with various members of our team, including:
A measure of the success of our pediatric oncology program is our ability to recruit top physicians from nationally respected institutions. A number of our doctors also hold leadership roles in national organizations devoted to treating cancer. And several of our oncology nurses have received regional and national nursing awards for their clinical care.
Your child may have a form of cancer that involves other areas of medicine – and the body. In that case, one or more of our many specialists and subspecialists may also work with your child’s care team at the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, such as:
As part of the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, we also have a very versatile and comprehensive Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant (BBMT) program, offering a potential cure for children with certain types of cancers and many life-threatening blood diseases.
For children who need a blood or bone marrow transplant (also sometimes called a “stem cell transplant” or “cord blood transplant”), our cancer
care team will work with our pediatric transplant physicians (doctors
who care for children getting blood or bone marrow transplants) and transplant coordinators (who can help you navigate services and treatments throughout the entire process if your child needs a blood or bone marrow transplant).
When you come to duPont Hospital for Children, you get a whole team of professionals — like an extended family — devoted to your child. We keep you clued in every step of the way — and offer amenities to keep you and your family comfortable when you need to stay with us.
Every member of your child’s care team will have secure access to your child’s medical information, with just the click of a button. Our award-winning electronic medical record makes it easy for everyone to always stay on the same page about your child’s care — at the same time.
Many children with cancer also get the benefit of our “tumor board” — a group of pediatric specialists representing various specialties who meet every week to discuss children with complex cancer cases. And members of a special brain tumor clinic collaborate on treatment decisions for children with brain tumors. It’s like getting a second opinion without making an appointment.
We may know how to treat your child’s cancer, but no one knows your child better than you. That’s why we want you to be an active participant in the decision-making process for your child’s treatment. We’ll explain everything in easily understandable terms, present all options (including alternative methods), and invite your input every step of the way.
This is all part of an important initiative at Nemours called “family-centered care” – and that just means we welcome your involvement because you’re the most important part of your child’s care team.
No visiting hours for parents: At duPont Hospital for Children, you’re welcome all day, every day. There are no visiting hours for parents and legal guardians — you can stay with your child 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also designate other “partners in care” who can be here with your child as well – any day, any time — to provide support and promote healing.
MyNemours: Your access to your child’s medical records: To help you stay on top of the details of your child’s care, we offer MyNemours — a secure internet portal that allows you to view select areas of your electronic medical record currently maintained by Nemours. You can access these records any time, day or night, from anywhere. Schedule appointments, read customized, informative content from Nemours’ KidsHealth.org, and get your child’s medications refilled online. And it’s secure, confidential — and free.
GetWellNetwork educational programs: While your child is staying in the hospital, you can watch informative cancer videos (right at your child’s bedside). Produced by Nemours’ own KidsHealth.org (the #1 most-visited website in the world for children’s health) and the GetWellNetwork Inc., these videos help you, your child, and your whole family understand what to expect from your child’s condition, treatment — and beyond.
Weekly town-hall-style meetings: In order to improve our care, we invite parents of children receiving inpatient treatment to weekly meetings — designed to address concerns and answer questions that may come up from living in a communal or hospital-based environment.
Thomas P. Ferry Program for Palliative and Supportive Care: This in-hospital program is designed for children with serious or complex medical illnesses and their families — to relieve pain and enhance kids’ quality of life. Our caring team uses a variety of therapies to help these children feel better physically and emotionally — no matter what kind of condition or prognosis they face.
Survivorship Clinic: Staffed by a specially trained oncology nurse practitioner and an oncologist, this weekly clinic provides healthcare information to children who’ve finished treatment and are on their way to being cancer-free. Each child receives an Oncology Summary (which provides a history of their diagnosis, treatment, potential late-effects, and recommended long-term follow up), a Survivorship Binder, and resources from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).
Support for Siblings: We recognize that coping with cancer can be scary, stressful, and overwhelming for everyone in the family. Siblings, especially, can often feel afraid, confused, worried, angry, sad, and left on the outskirts during the often-lengthy cancer experience. Thanks to funding from the LIVESTRONG organization, we offer resources, guidance, and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of our cancer patients — to help them to cope and to feel acknowledged, important, understood, and special too during this time.
At the duPont Hospital for Children, we want to make your cancer journey as stress-free as possible for you and your child. That’s why our top-rated care includes amenities and conveniences right here at the hospital like:
Family Resource Center & Ronald McDonald Room: This area was created with the help of our friends at the Ronald McDonald House with families like yours in mind — to provide you with some of the comforts of home such as:
Children with blood disorders and cancer who don’t need to be admitted to the hospital can receive outpatient care for:
The Day Therapy Suite offers toys, games, and arts and crafts — with child-sized furniture for play time, as well as large, comfortable areas for rest in a bright, open area overlooking the hospital’s grounds. The suite has an area designated especially for teens, where they can receive chemotherapy, blood products, or other treatments while they play with computers or video games.
We treat not just your child’s condition, but your child’s — and your family’s — feelings and spirit, too. That’s why our Integrative Medicine services work in conjunction with your child’s medical care — blending traditional and alternative (also called “complimentary” or “holistic”) medical therapies to help reduce pain and anxiety, and help kids feel better physically and emotionally. Some of our offerings include:
To make sure your child doesn’t fall behind in school, our onsite school is staffed by professional teachers who will come to your child’s room for instruction. Our teachers also will work with your child’s regular school teachers to develop a personalized education plan. When your child returns home, your transplant coordinator and your child’s teacher will work together to arrange a smooth transition of school services.
This organization helps fight boredom, isolation, and depression associated with hospital admissions and visits — with the use of laptops, iPads, and other technology — to help chronically ill children (both inpatients and outpatients) stay uplifted, entertained, and in touch with their support network.