Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
Your child's team
Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center's medical and support staff experts care for children ranging from infants to young adults. We will involve as many specialists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston as needed to oversee every aspect of your child's health.
During your child’s treatment, he’ll meet many members of our health care team. Some of the medical specialists you’ll work closely with include:
Your primary oncologist: a doctor (or nurse practitioner) who completed special training and has extensive experience treating childhood cancer. Your oncologist will outline and oversee all aspects of your child's treatment.
pediatric oncology surgeons: physicians who provide surgical treatments, including tumor removal and surgical biopsy
radiation oncologists: specially-trained physicians who use targeted radiation therapy to treat certain types of pediatric cancer
radiologists: doctors who use several imaging techniques to monitor your child’s condition and the effects of treatment. Interventional radiologists also perform non-invasive biopsies.
attending physician, fellows and residents: physicians who work together to manage your child's care. The attending physician is the most senior doctor on the health care team. A fellow is a doctor with advanced training in a specialty. A resident is a doctor with training in pediatrics. The team, which makes rounds on the unit in the morning, will see your child every day and will want to talk with you about your child's progress.
pediatric specialists: doctors from Children's 30 departments of medicine, such as endocrinology, neurology, cardiology and gastroenterology, among others, who will provide care for your child on an as-needed basis
social workers and psychologists: experts who may help your family manage stress related to cancer diagnosis and treatment
nurses: Our nurses work closely with all members of the team to plan and carry out your child's care. They’re specially certified to treat children with cancer, and they can teach you and your child about procedures, medical terms and medications, as well as provide general support.
nurse practitioners (NPs): registered nurses with advanced formal training; may be responsible for your child's care or perform procedures
physician assistants (PAs): health professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician
Both NPs and PAs make patient rounds, order and interpret diagnostic tests, perform or assist with therapeutic procedures, provide acute and chronic medical care to patients, and offer supportive care to patients and families throughout treatment.
Because each child's cancer experience is different, so is each child's care team. Dana-Farber and Children's will incorporate other health care members in your child's care as needed. Some of these specialists include:
a nutritionist: a specially trained staff member who helps your child receive the nutrients he needs to stay healthy throughout treatment
a patient care coordinator (PCC): a staff member who may work with you and the nursing staff to arrange any necessary home care needs and supplies before your child leaves the hospital
physical therapists: professionals who will work with your child to help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities from injuries or disease processes
Many other support specialists are also on your child’s team. To learn more about them, visit the resources and support services section.