At Miami Cancer Institute, the comprehensive treatment of your child involves numerous specialists. You may see several pediatric physicians, oncologists, surgeons and radiation experts, as well as nurses, dietitians, therapists and social workers. We understand that this can be a confusing and stressful time for every family member, and we are here to help.
One of the most exciting advances in the fight against sarcomas is proton therapy. When the Proton Therapy Center opens at Miami Cancer Institute soon, it will be the only center of its kind in the region and one of only 14 in the United States. An advanced form of radiation treatment, proton therapy spares healthy tissue and eliminates many of the side effects of conventional radiation treatment (also known as photon or external beam radiation). While traditional X-rays pass through healthy tissue and organs on their way in and out of the body, protons travel through the body and release most of their energy inside a tumor. Using proton therapy reduces the risk of damage to bones and soft tissues, reduces side effects and decreases the odds of other tumors later in life, which makes it particularly good for treating childhood sarcomas.
Other treatments may include (alone or in combination):
- Removal of the tumor
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- IMRT – intensity-modulated radiotherapy, another targeted form of radiation therapy
- Limb salvage procedure of the affected arm or leg, with prosthesis fitting and training
- Resections for metastases
- Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy and psychosocial adaptation
Every patient and every cancer is different, so prognosis and long-term survival can vary greatly from child to child. Long-term follow-up care is important, and rehabilitation may be required. The healthcare team at Miami Cancer Institute will work closely with you and your family to develop the best treatment plan for your child.