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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Your health-care team

Having a child with cancer is a major stress and responsibility.

The pediatric oncology team at UC Davis Children's Hospital and UC Davis Cancer Center is here to help you and your child face this challenge. During the past 25 years, great progress has been made in the treatment of childhood and adolescent cancers. Our aim is to provide your son or daughter with the best available treatment and support throughout therapy and follow-up.

Our comprehensive care team includes many specialists who work together to provide coordinated medical treatment:

  • Physicians. Our faculty doctors are specialists in pediatric hematology and oncology. One doctor is usually designated as your child's primary oncologist. Other faculty specialists, including radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, may also help care for your child, depending on your child's needs. In addition, the care team may include doctors from such disciplines as neurology, endocrinology or orthopaedics. No matter how many doctors are on the team, each of them will be familiar with your child. They will work closely together to design the treatment plan that is best for your child.

  • Residents and medical students. UC Davis is a teaching institution, so under the supervision of our faculty physicians, pediatric residents and medical students will assist in evaluating and treating your child.

  • Nurses. Registered nurses who have advanced clinical expertise in pediatric oncology are also part of the comprehensive care team. One nurse is usually identified as your child's primary nurse. He or she may be called a "nurse coordinator" or "pediatric nurse practitioner." This nurse consults with the doctors in planning your child's care and provides you with materials to help you understand your child's disease and its treatment. In addition, your nurse can give you advice about side effects of treatment, coordinate your medical appointments, help you get the support services you need and work with your insurance company to get appropriate authorizations.

  • Pediatric social workers. These members of the care team will help you identify resources as you learn to cope with the many aspects of your child's care.

  • Child life specialists. The Child Life Program is an important part of your child's care in the hospital. These specialists work to reduce children's stress and anxiety while in the hospital. The child life staff includes  music therapists, art therapists foster grandparents, interns and volunteers. Services include preparation for medical procedures through play, accompanying your child into the operating room, playroom and bedside activities, guided imagery and relaxation training.

  • Dietitians. Dietitians are available as needed to consult about nutritional needs of your child.

  • Other team members.  Your extended team may also include inpatient nurses, infusion nurses, clinical trial research associates, radiology and lab technicians and clerical support personnel.

The role of parents and family

Parents or legal guardians are the experts when it comes to their children, and the family is a child's greatest source of strength and support. You are a significant part of the team.

We strive to offer children and families the opportunity to play an active role in our team effort to return every child to a healthy life.

Last updated: 5/2007.