Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I explain a pediatric oncology consultation to my child?"
It's so difficult trying to explain what will happen to him. Do you have suggestions on how to approach it? He trusts our PCP, so can we have the PCP guide us through the process?
Unfortunately, there is no perfect way to go about this. When a child develops cancer, both the him or her and the parents are in such a tough spot, talking about it plainly so that the child can understand is very difficult. The best thing to be is both honest and hopeful all the time. Your child will need a lot of encouragement and feedback about how brave he is. The fact that your child has a PCP that he trusts is a very positive thing. In addition, I would encourage his PCP to assist in explaining what will happen as the treatment of his cancer unfolds. The only problem that will occur with this is that the PCP may not know exactly what is going to happen, and may not be comfortable talking about it without the full knowledge of the treatment plan. Most pediatric oncologists are very skilled at interacting with and explaining to both children and parents about what cancer treatment entails. They have to be in order to do their job effectively. Thus, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your son's oncologist so that you can get a rundown of the plan for his treatment. After 1-2 visits with this doctor, you will know whether are you comfortable with him or her explaining things to your son. I hope that answer helped.
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