Because of new and better therapies, blood cancer survival rates for children have improved significantly during the last several decades. In addition, doctors, nurses and researchers continue to search for the causes of childhood leukemia, lymphoma and MDS to develop even better treatments and tailor therapies to decrease toxic side effects. Social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and other health professionals are also working to understand how to help children and families manage cancer and its treatment and maintain a good quality of life.
Treatments for childhood cancer continue to evolve, in part because of the risk of long-term effects of cancer therapy. To minimize the risk:
- The lowest effective doses of drugs and radiation are used to treat cancer
- Research is underway to understand:
- Why some survivors develop treatment related long-term effects
- How long-term effects of therapy affect quality of life