Current Oncology Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 469–476 | Cite as

Psychosocial support of the pediatric cancer patient: Lessons learned over the past 50 years

Article

Abstract

Advances in pediatric cancer treatment over the past 50 years have dramatically improved survival rates. Once considered almost uniformly fatal, pediatric cancer’s overall survival rates now approach 85%. Formerly, little psychosocial support existed for the child with cancer other than that provided by nurses and family. The prospect for long-term survival was so remote that plans for the future (eg, school, social relationships, late effects of treatment, and emotional adjustment) were abandoned. As the survival rate for children with cancer improved, so did the need for and quality of psychosocial care, largely because of hope for a cure. Today children with cancer benefit from comprehensive behavioral pediatric psychosocial support programs in psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, child life, education (school), creative arts, chaplaincy, social work, and career and vocational counseling. Pediatric psycho-oncology research has provided insights into clinical care and the psychosocial adaptation of children and families to cancer treatment and survivorship.

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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s Cancer Hospital, Division of Pediatrics (Unit 087)University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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