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    Explainer: What is nanomedicine and how can it improve childhood cancer treatment?

    The Conversation has published an article about how Australian researchers are looking at how they can use nanomedicine to improve the side effects of cancer treatment for children. What is nanomedicine?  Nano means tiny – a nanometre is one-billionth of a metre! – and nanomedicine is the use of nanoparticles in medicine. This article talks about using nanoparticles to transport drugs to places they wouldn’t be able to go on their own. How does that help with side effects?  Nanoparticles can be designed to: better target cancer cells, which means less damage to healthy cells break down into harmless byproducts transport Read more [...]

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    Clinical trials bring hope – Lesley and Casey’s story

    On the Dell’s Children website, a mother and father share their story about how clinical trials brought hope to their family during their son’s cancer treatment. Rex was 17 months old when he was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. The article says: “Upon Rex’s diagnosis, Lesley and her husband, Casey, knew their family faced a long, uphill battle.  High-risk neuroblastoma is an aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer, and the odds for survival were not in their child’s favor.  They agreed to enroll Rex into a clinical trial study using an experimental drug, Unituxin, for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.” In this Read more [...]

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    Lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate

    The Hush Foundation and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has produced a 12-minute video for children undergoing procedures such as lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate. The video covers: Feeling worried; What are procedures such as lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate; How to get ready for these procedures; Going under anaesthetic; and Waking up after the procedure. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for parents of children with cancer, but we are always looking for more content. Register now to contribute content, recommend a resource, or share your personal story.

  • Cancer survivor and amputee’s cute Halloween costume

    The Mighty has shared a very cute story: titled 3-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Proves You Don’t Need Two Arms to Enjoy Halloween. The article is about Scarlette, a three-year-old amputee and cancer survivor. Scarlette and her mother Simone found a fun and creative way to celebrate Halloween. Simone says, “When she was born, which was four weeks early, her left arm was gigantic … It was about three times the size of her right arm. They had no idea what to make of it.” After many tests, Scarlette was diagnosed with undifferentiated high-grade spindle cell sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. “We did a Read more [...]

  • Tosh’s story: how he helped end his daughter’s cancer

    After more than two years of chemotherapy, Tosh Nagashima helped end his daughter’s cancer. Cancer Advisor called him to talk about his family’s experience. In March 2014 four-year-old Bella was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). After arriving at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in an ambulance, Bella started chemotherapy immediately. During treatment, Bella’s father continued to work full-time and take care of their youngest daughter Olivia while his wife Vanie spent day and night in the hospital. “After work I would visit Bella in the hospital every day,” he explains. “It was hard for her younger sister Read more [...]

  • Advice for kids who have a friend with cancer

    If your child’s friend is diagnosed with cancer, you might be wondering how this could impact your child and what steps you can take to help them. We hope these resources have been helpful. If we’ve missed something, please let us know. We want to help you find what you’re looking for. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources with practical tips, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Helping a child to understand cancer

    The US website Cancer.Net offers advice to help a child understand cancer. They say: “For most parents, few things are as frightening as hearing from the doctor that your child has cancer. Parents are dealing with their own fears and confusion at this time. Yet, they must also face the task of helping their child understand his or her diagnosis.” It suggests what to tell your child based on their age and is broken up into age-appropriate sections including: aged 0-3, aged 3-7, aged 7-12, and teenagers. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for parents of children with cancer, but we Read more [...]

  • Support for grandparents of kids with cancer

    Grandparents of Kids with Cancer is a web page which offers support for grandparents around the world, giving them a place to share their experiences with other people who have a grandchild with cancer. They advocate for the important role that grandparents play in the family, and acknowledge the emotional and practical needs of grandparents. On the website they say, “Being told that your grandchild has cancer is devastating. Not only is your grandchild going through the most traumatic experience, but your own child is also facing the worst pain imaginable. Talking to other grandparents who are going through the Read more [...]

  • Celebrating oncology nurses

    When it comes to cancer treatment, oncology nurses who care for teenagers and children are an integral part to a treatment team. Nurses can also transform a hospital experience – they can become an advocate, a teacher, a healer and in some cases, even a friend. To celebrate paediatric and teenage oncology nurses, we’ve found some videos that highlight how nurses have impacted the lives of their patients. Watch the videos now and tell us in the comments which is your favourite. Please note: These videos were filmed in the US and the UK. However, we’d love to share stories and Read more [...]

  • Children’s hospitals in Australia

    Children’s hospitals (also known as paediatric hospitals) specialise in the medical needs of children and teenagers. At children’s hospital the staff are specifically trained in taking care of children and teenagers. Chances are there will also be more child-geared activities on hand such as kids films and child entertainers. Expand the boxes below to learn more about children’s hospitals in each state. Some children’s hospitals do not treat children’s cancer, so you may need to move to a different state for treatment. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for families who need to do this, including personal stories from Read more [...]

  • Nerida’s story: Turning Brisbane gold for kids with cancer

    The 1st of September is our D-Day anniversary, so this year I decided to channel my energy into something positive. I turned Brisbane Gold. Brisbane City Hall, The Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge all shone gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness. This is how it happened: Receiving a diagnosis On the 1st September 2015 my Son Xavier was diagnosed with Stage III Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder at just 23 months of age. We had to move to Brisbane from Townsville for treatment and as I knew very few people here, I started a Facebook support group page for the oncology Read more [...]

  • Nutrition tips for children during cancer treatment

    You’re probably aware that nutrition plays a huge part in a child’s overall health and wellbeing at any stage of their lives. However, did you know that nutrition may also help your child to better tolerate their cancer treatment, fight infection and assist with their recovery? Here’s what the experts have to say about the best way to approach nutrition during a child’s cancer treatment. Also, please go easy on yourself and remember that it’s okay to be flexible and cut corners while your child is in hospital. It won’t cause any harm if you serve Weet-bix for dinner or Read more [...]

  • Total body irradiation

    Total body irradiation (TBI) is the term used when radiotherapy is given to the whole body. Radiotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high energy rays, similar to x-rays. TBI may be used in conjunction with high dose chemotherapy drugs. This is often used in preparation for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.  This fact sheet from the Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) provides information on total body irradiation. The resource gives an overview of: What is total body irradiation? Getting ready for total body irradiation What is it like? Taking care of your child during total body Read more [...]

  • Born with cancer

    This article, published by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, features Carrick Stafford Wood who was born with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare type of cancer. Carrick didn’t leave hospital for the first six months of his life, but finally returned home on Christmas Day. “It’s unusual [for a baby to be born with cancer]but it can happen. The most common cancer in newborns is neuroblastoma – a rare cancer of the developing nervous system (…) neuroblastomas and teratomas in newborns are usually very treatable, and most children are cured. Infantile leukemia is hard to treat, but again, with aggressive therapy, we Read more [...]

  • Rhi’s story: adjusting to a new normal after cancer treatment

    My son Connor was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Thankfully he is currently in remission. Now that I finally have spare moments to breathe and reflect upon the whole traumatic journey of childhood cancer I have to admit that one of the most difficult parts was coming home. When my son was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma At the time of diagnosis we lived in Collinsville, a small mining community in rural North Queensland. Initially we were flown to Townsville hospital. After three days and much investigation we were transferred to Brisbane via Royal Flying Doctors. Our oncologist Read more [...]

  • World first: Australia produces childhood cancer data set

    Cancer Australia has produced the world’s first national data on diagnosis and survival rates of childhood cancer. The data set analyses early diagnosis and survival rates for 16 of the most common types of childhood cancers. The data is based on figures collected between 2006 and 2010 by the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry from hospitals across the country. In collaboration with Cancer Council Queensland, Cancer Australia Developed a method to standardise the information, hoping that this may be replicated overseas in the future. About 100 Australian children die each year from cancer, making it the main cause of death from disease. Read more [...]

  • One step closer to compulsory cancer education in UK

    Health education (including sex and relationship education) will become compulsory in the UK. According to a CoppaFeel press release this is one step closer to receiving compulsory cancer education. CoppaFeel is a UK breast cancer awareness charity. In their release, they explain: The guidance released today by the Department of Education shows great progress [showing]the need for pupils to be taught about not only the benefits of healthy eating and keeping fit (important factors to preventing cancer), but also the prevention of health problems and self examination. As we all know, preventing and detecting cancer early is vital in order to give Read more [...]

  • Ritchie’s story: Caring for a child with cancer and Down syndrome

    In January Ritchie Farrugia was told his six-year-old daughter Bella had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia also known as ALL. Bella also has Down syndrome and at the time of diagnosis, Ritchie had already been her full-time carer for the last four years. Cancer Advisor spoke to him about being a dad in a children’s hospital ward and how Down syndrome affects cancer treatment. What’s it like being a dad in a children’s hospital ward? The first few months I stayed at the hospital full-time with Bella. My wife’s back is not too good, not that mine was great but, it was Read more [...]

  • Help for brothers and sisters – a video for kids

    When it comes to childhood cancer, brothers and sisters of a diagnosed child have specific needs. In fact, many “well” siblings will report feeling alone, lost and neglected. While there are various materials available that have been specifically written for parents to help address these needs, we’ve found a resource that is specifically geared to kids themselves – both the diagnosed and the well sibling! The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in the U.S. created this fun and educational video as a way to emotionally support siblings of kids with cancer. The video is part of the Imaginary Friend Society series and was Read more [...]

  • Keeping your child healthy during cancer remission

    This factsheet from US website familydoctor.org offers some information and tips for parents when their child finishes treatment. Whether your child is in partial or complete remission, you may have questions like ‘what do I do next?’ and fears like ‘what if the cancer comes back?’ This article covers some topics including: Nutrition and exercise, Keeping records of your child’s treatment, and Late effects. To end this resources suggests Questions to ask your doctor such as: What kinds of symptoms should I look for that mean I should call you? What doctors should my child see now that the cancer is Read more [...]