The Children’s Hospital has a dedicated chemotherapy day unit for children with cancer. Staffed by specially trained paediatric nurses and a team of associated child health professionals, patients visiting the unit have their treatment in a relaxed, supportive and child-friendly atmosphere.
The unit is located on the first floor of the main hospital adjacent to the main ward, and consists of specially designed pods (cubicles that give you and your child privacy without creating a feeling of being cut off from other patients). There is a television within each pod, and a play specialist is on hand to support other activities.
Treatments can last up to six hours, so it’s a good idea to bring some toys or electronic devices with you to entertain your child while he/she is having treatment – there is free WiFi available in the unit. There are also facilities for drinks, snacks and meals.
What does chemotherapy involve?
Chemotherapy is when anti-cancer medication is used to destroy harmful cells. The type of chemotherapy your child will be offered depends on the type of cancer they have. Chemotherapy can be given before or after an operation to treat cancer. Your child will be given support from our specially trained nursing team throughout their treatment cycle and there is a 24-hour helpline that you can call if you are worried at any time.
Chemotherapy can be given in a variety of ways and your consultant will explain the most appropriate therapy.
Treatment is usually provided over several sessions, this is known as a ‘treatment cycle’. During each session some cancer cells are destroyed. After each session, your child will be given time to rest and recover.
What are the side-effects?
Children respond differently to chemotherapy, which is dependent on many factors, and your nursing team and consultant will be able to answer any questions before your child begins treatment.