Children, teens, and young adults with cancer and related disorders have diverse needs. When parents and physicians are first faced with a new diagnosis, beginning treatment is a true emergency. How can you know what questions to ask in selecting the team to care for your child, teen, or young adult? Here are some commonly asked questions.

If you need more information, call us at 216.444.5517 and ask to speak with a physician or nurse.

Do I have an experienced team with good outcomes?

The pediatric oncologists at The Pediatric Oncology Department at Cleveland Clinic are all subspecialty board certified and represent decades of experience. Our physicians are national leaders in the development of treatments for children with cancer.

Does the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit have around-the-clock physicians on site?

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Cleveland Clinic Children’s is staffed around-the-clock by in-hospital pediatric intensive care specialists, all board-certified in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. As a result, mortality rates in our PICU are much lower than the national average.

If my child needs radiation therapy, are the best techniques available to minimize side effects?

The Radiation Oncology Department works closely with our team, providing state-of-the-art therapy. Cutting-edge radiation tools such as 3-D conformal radiation therapy (which includes intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and 3-D radiation treatments) precisely deliver radiation to the chest area lymphomas while minimizing dose to normal tissues. We were one of the first centers to offer IMRT for pediatric oncology patients.

Children with cancer have a significant risk of serious infection. What will you do to prevent infection?

We have created quality and safety programs to help prevent the spread of infection. For example, the implementation of preventive antibiotics at key therapy timepoints is constantly monitored. In addition, we immunize the family members of patients when possible.

Will my child still feel and act like a child, be able to play and go to school?

State-of-the-art pediatric oncology therapy is technically complex, and we meet that demand. Yet in this environment of high-tech supportive medicine, our families find a gentle, comprehensive, informative, and comfortable “medical home.” Art therapists and child life specialists are found among a medical staff that embraces each family completely. Our school re-entry program helps each individual child find their way back to school and other important parts of their life during therapy.

If you would like our assistance for a child or adolescent who has or may have a malignancy, call 216.444.5517 or 800.553.5056, ext. 45517. On evenings and weekends: 216.444.2200 to page the pediatric hematologist/oncologist on-call. Because early diagnosis and treatment are critical to good outcomes and to parents’ peace of mind, rapid referrals are a priority. Children and young adults referred to the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology can be seen quickly if not on the same day then on the next day.

Consider also the value of a second opinion from a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's. A second opinion can provide reassurance that a prescribed treatment is best, or it may offer families fresh options. For out-of-town patients or those too ill to travel, the eCleveland Clinic second opinion service offers convenient online access to pediatric specialists. Find out more by calling 800.223.2273, ext. 43223.

We offer you the words of parents we work with:

"Everyone seems to work as a team, with the focus being on the children and their families… Again thanks to you and your staff. They portray the excellence that is missing in healthcare today."

"We feel so blessed that we brought our son to Cleveland Clinic."