Kids deserve to be kids. And that’s not the easiest thing to do if they have cancer. At Miami Cancer Institute, our team of experts works together to focus on the whole child.
Our Pediatric Support Center team addresses the social and emotional needs of your child, and provides support to the whole family, including siblings. We provide a compassionate environment, engaging activities and a range of complementary therapies to make sure your child remains psychologically healthy during the treatment process and beyond.
Our facility is filled with family-friendly features such as a jellyfish-filled aquarium in the lobby, family waiting and conference rooms and large multiscreen displays that let children choose their own interactive experience during treatment, such as a movie, video game or tour of an aquarium or a far-away country.
Our Pediatric Support Center programs include:
Patient Navigation Program
Patient navigators can assist your family with the intricacies of the healthcare system, including managing your child’s symptoms, explaining treatment options, referrals to physicians or support resources, communicating with your child’s healthcare team, managing medical paperwork and resolving insurance issues.
Pediatric psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and chaplains address the psychological and emotional needs of your child and family members as you cope with cancer and treatment. Our child-life specialists support your child during treatments, lessening any fear and anxiety. They explain procedures and medical terminology using language and demonstrations that your child understands. They also can help your child keep up with schoolwork or transition back to the school routine.
Treatment strategies include:
- Individual and family therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy and/or pharmacotherapy for anxiety
- Treatment of cancer-related fatigue and cognitive dysfunction
- Support groups and educational classes
- Mind-body therapies: progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing techniques, visual guided imagery and mindfulness meditation
- Brain fitness program, which utilizes innovative virtual reality computerized programs to improve cognitive impairments
- Pastoral counseling
The evidence-based therapies provided by our Pediatric Integrative Medicine team complement traditional medical care and address the physical and emotional symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. Your child may benefit from offerings such as art and music therapy, movement therapy, massage therapy and nutrition guidance.
Children with cancer may need rehabilitation throughout treatment, recovery and life after cancer. Our physical, occupational and speech therapists can help your child improve functional skills and self-care practices that are required to move toward independence. Through ongoing therapy exercises, your child will have a new-found confidence and get back to being a kid again.
Miami Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Team collaborates with your child’s oncology team to treat pain and other symptoms using integrative medicine therapies, new medications and innovative procedures. Our goal is to promote happiness and healing and improve your child’s quality of life.
Nutrition & Exercise Counseling
Good nutrition, exercise and healthy living can help the body heal. Miami Cancer Institute’s registered dietitians and exercise physiologists work with your child’ medical team to develop a personalized nutrition and exercise plan that can help your child feel better and stay stronger during treatment. Continuing healthy behaviors after the completion of treatment also may reduce your child’s risk for additional cancers and late effects from treatment.
Follow-up care is vital to the health and well-being of pediatric cancer survivors. At Miami Cancer Institute, our team of experts monitor and manage your child’s health following cancer treatment, checking for potential delayed complications. We often partner with your child’s primary care physician to monitor growth and development and cognitive or learning issues that may result from treatment. We also provide counseling on preventative health behaviors and promote wellness through healthy lifestyle habits to ensure that your child is achieving the best possible quality of life.