Hearing the words “your child has cancer” is every parent’s nightmare. The needs of children with cancer are unique and require specialized care.
That is why the Hematology/Oncology Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital is so important. Hundreds of children and their families are touched by cancer each year and they rely on the expertise of the program.
“The care we provide is truly regional in scope,” explains Dr. Anthony Chan, Division Chief of Hematology/Oncology at McMaster Children’s Hospital. “We see patients from Niagara Falls and Brantford to Kitchener-Waterloo who require our care, whether that’s surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment.”
Team members from different specialties collaborate in the care of pediatric cancer patients. This includes disciplines such as surgery, neurology, radiology, infectious disease, physiotherapy and Child Life, among many others.
“The entire family is affected by pediatric cancer,” says Dr. Chan, “so it’s important to care for the family as a whole. There are many psycho-social factors in pediatric cancer care and it can be traumatic for everyone, especially siblings, which is why social workers and Child Life Specialists are particularly important.”
Questions and answers
McMaster Children’s Hospital is also a leader in clinical trials and other research, which helps the program stay on the leading edge of pediatric cancer care.
“The entire family is affected by pediatric cancer.”
“Research is all about asking questions and finding answers to improve patient outcomes. This leads to new standards of care as we conduct clinical trials and we continue to develop new therapies for today and tomorrow.”
Dr. Chan appreciates the important role played by McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation in enabling the Hematology/Oncology Program to reach its full potential.
“We are grateful that the Foundation provides funding for the purchase of important medical equipment, as well as support for research and the ongoing education of staff. I donate to the Foundation myself because I realize the importance of donor support, and I encourage others to donate and make a real difference.”