Pediatric Cancer

Activated by sunlight and present in some foods and supplements, vitamin D plays an important role in disease prevention and overall health. Adequate intake regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintains healthy bones and teeth, and protects against multiple diseases and conditions such as cancer. 

Her infectious smile and sparkly eyes light up the room as she dances around, seemingly without a care in the world. Looking at 9-year-old, Alexis, you would never guess that she has endured a battle no child should ever have to experience.

Remarkable progress has been made in pediatric cancer over the past two decades. More than 75 percent of children diagnosed with cancer will be long-term survivors. But treatments that help children survive – like chemotherapy and radiation – wreak havoc on their bodies years later.

As kids grow, their muscles, tendons and ligaments grow as well. So when they complain about aches and pains, it’s often due to the rapid pace of their developing bodies. But if the pain persists, or the pain is coupled with other ailments, it might be something more serious.

When Dr. Donald Pinkel graduated from medical school at the University of Buffalo in 1951, the world was a pretty dark place for kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). They didn’t live long after diagnosis, and experts in the field of blood cancer were convinced the disease was incurable.
The shock of a cancer diagnosis is a jarring, life-altering experience that, unfortunately, is not exclusive to adults. Over 10,000 American children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed this year, and rates continue to rise. Dr. Elena Ladas has done extensive research on therapies such as acupuncture, massage and dietary therapy and how they may be able to assist in reducing treatment-associated side effects.

Children undergoing cancer treatments will experience many hurdles – from psychosocial issues and emotional distress to learning problems and health risks. Unfortunately, this age group is also prone to noticeable changes in their physical appearance.

After spending nearly two decades as a pediatric oncologist and clinical investigator at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, Kara Kelly, MD, once again calls Western New York home. An alumnus of the University at Buffalo, Dr. Kelly returned to the area in February to lead Roswell Park’s Department of Pediatric Oncology.

Halloween is such an important holiday for many kids. But during cancer treatment, extended hospital stays or unpleasant side effects could hinder the trick-or-treating tradition. However, with a little planning and preparation you can still enjoy the day.

As Childhood Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, we want to stress the importance of long-term follow-up care and the benefits of the pediatric survivor’s clinic.

At age seven, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. After my main surgery to remove the cancer, I had to go through weeks of chemotherapy and never stopped asking questions during the process.

During your teenage years, physical changes are a part of normal development. You may notice a difference in the way your body looks, feels and performs. But for teen cancer survivors, these changes are especially difficult.