Treatments and Services

Supportive Care

At Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we care for your whole child. We don’t just treat their disease.

Our supportive care experts range from child life specialists to nutritionists to pain management doctors. Your child will get care for their physical, emotional and comfort needs.

  • Child life specialists focus on your child’s emotional and developmental needs. We work directly with you and your child so you can feel more in control about your medical experience. We help your child and family members express concerns and ease their fears.

    Music, art and animal visits are some of the ways we help. We have playrooms for children staying in the hospital or visiting a clinic. Their siblings are welcome, too. For those 12 and older — including family members — the Teen Zone has video games, computers and arts and crafts.

    Read more about child life specialists at Seattle Children’s.

  • Your child may have side effects from cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These treatments destroy fast-growing cells — both cancer cells and healthy cells. Side effects happen because of damage to cells, including those that form blood, skin, hair and the lining of the mouth and digestive system.

    Your healthcare team will let you know:

    • What side effects to expect
    • Which symptoms (like fever) should be reported right away
    • Tips for reducing and coping with side effects

    We watch your child carefully during and after treatment. We check their blood to make sure they have enough healthy cells. We adjust their treatment or supportive care based on how your child is doing.

    Sometimes we can give your child skin creams or medicine to help with side effects like skin irritation, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation. Tell your health team about side effects your child is having so we can help.

    Most side effects go away after treatment as your child’s healthy cells grow again. But some side effects last longer. Our Cancer Survivor Program provides long-term follow-up care to help young people stay healthy after being treated for cancer in childhood.

  • Children who have a serious illness or who are getting major treatment may also have mental health concerns. These may be caused by your child’s illness or treatment or the stress of having a health problem.

    Whatever the cause, our team helps your child work through their feelings and emotions and learn coping skills. Your child’s care team will include a social worker and, if needed, a pediatric psychologist. Both are specially trained to help children and teens deal with serious illness.

    We offer practical information learned from working with many other families. Together with your family, we:

    • Help figure out how the condition is affecting your child and family life and provide guidance
    • Support you when you are making decisions about your child’s treatment
    • Help you and your child prepare for surgery or a hospital stay

    Learn more about Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Seattle Children’s.

  • Seattle Children’s is a leader in treating pain in babies, children and teens. We base our recommendations for your child on evidence about what works. We partner with you and your child to prevent and relieve pain as completely as possible.

    Managing your child’s pain is critical to their healing. That’s why we use pain medicines made especially for children. We use anesthesia and alternatives like acupuncture when those methods will help your child.

    Learn more about Seattle Children’s Pain Medicine program.

  • Children with cancer or blood conditions sometimes have challenges with eating and growing. They may lose interest in eating. It may be hard to digest food. They may lose or gain weight because of some medicines and other treatments.

    We help children with all types of conditions meet their nutritional needs. See more about our Nutrition program.

  • Palliative care helps relieve the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It enhances your child’s quality of life through pain and symptom control, emotional support and better communication. Any child who has a serious, possibly life-threatening illness may benefit from working with our Palliative Care Program.

    Because each family is unique, we:

    • Help your family talk about your child’s illness with each other and with your healthcare team
    • Make sure the goals of your child and family stay at the center of all our discussions
    • Help you make treatment choices that are right for you and your child
    • Give your family extra emotional support during a difficult time

    Learn more about the Palliative Care Program at Seattle Children’s.

  • Through play and exercise, our physical therapists (PTs) help your child build strength, balance and coordination. Physical therapy can also help reduce pain.

    Our skills and specially sized equipment help us work with patients from the very smallest babies to young adults.

    Occupational therapists (OTs) help people learn how to do the tasks of daily life when a health problem affects abilities like eating, bathing and writing. Seattle Children's has the largest group of OTs in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to working with babies, children and teens.

    Read more about our physical therapy and occupational therapy services.

  • Our social workers help throughout your child’s care. We have skilled counselors who provide support and information about your child’s diagnosis and the impact cancer or a blood disorder may have on your family.

    Our social workers can help you make connections with other families and find community resources. We work closely with psychologists and child life specialists.

    Learn more about Social Work at Seattle Children’s.

Contact Us

Contact the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at 206-987-2106 for an appointment, a second opinion or more information.

To make an appointment, you can call us directly or get a referral from your child’s primary care provider. We encourage you to coordinate with your pediatrician or family doctor when coming to Seattle Children's.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.