Tumor Treatment Options

Treatment for your child's tumor depends on many factors, like the type of tumor, whether it is cancer or not, where it is in your child's body and whether it causes any symptoms. Your child's doctor will suggest a treatment plan that matches your child's specific situation. The doctor can explain all of your options, the plan your child's team suggests and why.


Surgery may be one part of your child's treatment plan.

Surgeons may remove all or part of a malignant (cancerous) tumor and all or part of a benign (noncancerous) tumor. You may hear this type of surgery called resection. Some tumors can be biopsied [LINK TO definition] or resected using minimally invasive techniques, including robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. [LINK TO definition]

Other treatments

Children with benign tumors usually need surgery only. Children with malignant tumors may need other treatment, like chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In certain cases, your doctor may recommend proton therapy. Our surgeons work together with our childhood cancer doctors (oncologists) to create a treatment plan for each child based on his or her needs. Seattle Children's cancer program is part of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, along with UW Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Follow-up care

Both benign and malignant tumors may come back (recur) at their original site after treatment. So it will be important for your child to see the doctor on a regular schedule for a while to check for signs of this. Your child's doctor will talk with you in detail about the follow-up care your child needs.

More details

Read more about the treatment of these types of tumors or other forms of cancer:

Also, read about how our Neurosurgery department treats brain and spinal tumors and how our Orthopedics department treats spinal tumors and bone and soft tissue tumors.

You can also read about what to expect when your child visits a clinic at Children's, has surgery here or needs to stay in the hospital. You can get practical details about topics like what to do and bring the day of surgery and who will be on your child's care team.