At Seattle Children’s, we care for your whole child as we treat their cancer or blood disorder. In addition to advanced medical and surgical treatment, your child, teen or young adult will get care for their physical, emotional and comfort needs.
Our Cancer and Blood Disorders team partners with Seattle Children’s experts in many fields of medicine and surgery to give your child specialized care for their disease and any complications of therapy. These include specialists in pediatric intensive care, surgery, pain management, infectious diseases, the kidneys (nephrology), digestive system (gastroenterology), heart (cardiology) and immune system (immunology).
To best manage your child’s disease and treatment, they also will receive supportive care from experts in nutrition, physical therapy and pain medicine. We also provide a full range of services to meet your child and family’s emotional and behavioral health needs.
Your child may have side effects from cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some treatments destroy fast-growing cells – both cancer cells and healthy cells.
We watch your child carefully during and after treatment. We check their blood to make sure they have enough healthy cells. We adjust treatment and supportive care based on how your child is doing.
Your healthcare team will let you know:
- What side effects to expect
- Which symptoms should be reported right away, like fever
- Tips for reducing and coping with side effects
Tell your health team about side effects your child is having so we can help. 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.
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.
When a child has cancer, it affects everyone in the family. It is normal for all family members to need support for their emotional, behavioral health and spiritual needs. We provide psychosocial services based on research about what works to help cancer patients and their families. Our team offers art and play activities, learning support, therapy and spiritual care to families of all faiths and cultures.
We partner with you and your child to prevent and ease their pain as much as possible. Managing your child's pain is critical to their healing. That is why we use pain medicines made just for children. We use anesthesia and alternatives like acupuncture when those methods will help your child. We base our recommendations for your child on evidence about what works.
We have been named a ChildKind Certified Hospital, which means we have met standards that show our dedication to reducing children’s pain and suffering. Fewer than 10 hospitals in the nation are certified. 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 ease 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 team.
- Palliative Care at Seattle Children’s
- Research to build resilience in families facing cancer
Exercise and physical therapy are an important part of your child’s treatment for cancer and blood disorders. Through play and exercise, our physical therapists (PTs) help your child keep their heart and muscles strong, lungs clear, joints flexible and mind sharp. Physical therapy can also help reduce pain.
We have the skills and right-sized equipment to 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 services:
Our social workers help throughout your child’s care. These skilled counselors provide support and information about your child’s diagnosis and the impact their illness may have on your family.
Our social workers can help you make connections with other families and find community resources. They work closely with psychologists, child life specialists and interpreters in many languages, including sign language.
Learn more about Social Work at Seattle Children’s.
If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider to refer you.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.
Scheduling an appointment
- How to schedule an appointment at Seattle Children’s.
- If you already have an appointment, learn more about how to prepare.
- Learn about resources such as useful links, videos and recommended reading for you and your family.