Treating Retinoblastoma at Pediatric Cancer Centers

Pediatric retinoblastoma is a rare form of kids’ eye cancer that can be life threatening if it’s not treated quickly enough. Like all forms of child cancer, retinoblastoma is typically treated in specialized pediatric cancer centers. These cancer centers may stand alone or be part of large hospitals. Pediatric cancer centers offer a wealth of support for patients and their families, in addition to treatment.

Who Is Treated at Pediatric Cancer Centers?

Children from birth to age 18 or even 21 may be treated at pediatric cancer centers. Children with any form of cancer may receive treatments of all different types. Some of the children that are treated at cancer centers are treated on an outpatient basis, while others may have their own rooms and stay for an extended period of time.

Lively Themes and Designs

The children and families that utilize pediatric cancer centers are typically worried about the diagnosis, the upcoming treatments, and the potential prognosis after treatment. To take their minds off of the situation and let kids be kids as much as possible, most cancer centers are bright and lively, with toys and games in main areas. Even individual rooms may be colorful and have fun drawings and other child-friendly attributes.

Play Therapy

play therapy

To help kids cope with their feelings and work through complex emotions, some cancer centers integrate creative play with other types of treatment. Doctors and therapists may bring props that will get kids laughing and encourage them to talk about their fears and thoughts. This type of therapy has shown to be effective for some patients.


Cutting Edge Treatments

Most pediatric cancer centers are supported by the Children’s Oncology Groupand the National Cancer Institute. This international network of support allows pediatric cancer centers to have access to some of the most cutting edge research, technology, and clinical trials. For pediatric retinoblastoma patients, this may increase the odds that vision will be retained while also combating the cancer.

A Network of Peers

One of the things that many families of children with pediatric retinoblastoma find most helpful about pediatric cancer centers is the network of peers that the center puts families in touch with. The other children and families present at the center are dealing with many of the same struggles, worries, and issues. It can be reassuring and helpful to have someone to talk to that is going through the same life changes and trying some of the same coping techniques.

While dealing with a pediatric retinoblastoma diagnosis can be tough, having top quality care and support from a pediatric cancer center can improve the prognosis and provide peace of mind.