Pediatric tumors and sarcomas
A tumor is an abnormal clump of tissue, resulting from cells multiplying too rapidly. Tumors are either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign), though the latter can still cause problems. Sarcomas are a type of tumor found in bone, muscle and other connective tissue.
What you should know about pediatric tumors and sarcomas
- Brain and nervous system tumors: Tumors can form in the brain stem or spinal cord. Common tumors in this region include gliomas, astrocytomas and neuroblastomas.
Bone and soft tissue tumors: There are two main types of bone and soft tissue (musculoskeletal) tumors found in younger patients, often in teenagers:
- Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma, cancer in bone or soft tissue
- Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that begins in soft tissue, usually in muscles attached to bone.
- Liver and kidney cancer: Wilms tumor is a childhood cancer that starts in the kidneys. It is typically found in children under age 6.
Eye cancer: Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer that affects a small number of children each year.
Why choose Geisinger for your pediatric tumor and sarcoma care?
- Comfort and convenience: Everything we do is geared toward children and their families. Whenever possible, we reduce the number of needed clinic visits by having multiple specialists available at once. Nurse navigators and other support staff work with parents and caregivers to identify resources that make cancer treatment easier. They also coordinate with schools to ensure students stay on track.
- Collaborative care: Our pediatric oncologists and hematologists work closely with pediatric surgeons and other specialists to diagnose cancer, using sophisticated testing. They work as a comprehensive multidisciplinary team to develop treatment plans that are effective and manageable for both children and caregivers.
- Child Life Services: Our certified pediatric specialists have a background in child development. They help children and their families cope with treatment by:
- Using developmentally appropriate play to help explain the condition they face, and their treatment
- Offering diversions – including iPads and craft projects – to help distract children
- Celebrating milestones, including birthdays and the last day of chemotherapy
State-of-the-art treatments: No matter the therapy required, Geisinger offers sophisticated technologies for delivering life-saving care. Treatments include:
- Ablation that damages tumors with heated or cooled gas
- Radiation therapy that is precisely targeted to destroy tumors without damaging surrounding tissue. Newer and safer radiation therapy techniques, like IRMT, are also offered for pediatric patients.
- Minimally invasive or robotic-assisted surgical removal of tumors and lymph nodes
- Research-proven, tolerable chemotherapy drug combinations that are highly effective