In 1998, the most common cause of child and adolescents death claimed approximately 2500 young lives in the United States alone. The cause of this dreadful loss of life was due to childhood cancers. This paper explores the changes in the life of children dealing with cancer, families that have been affected by these diseases (also known as pediatric cancer) and a small part of the journey they experience. Cancer does not discriminate and affects all members of the family unit. This paper investigates the challenges that a family will experience from the first diagnoses through palliative care. It examines research and statistic about childhood cancer from organization as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the National Cancer Institute's (NCI), Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), and other cancer research organization. Although there are 12 major types of cancers that affect children, the main focus in this paper will be acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). It will also include an interview, the personal experiences of a family, real life emotions, and the effect on the parents and sibling of the (Ashtyn) child presently facing acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Life is no longer what formerly was known as being normal. Life with cancer becomes a new journey, the new normal family life that, unfortunately is not normal, but a life that includes cancer.
Keywords: childhood cancer, family life, new journey, leukemia (ALL), chemo
The Effects of Childhood Cancer on Families and
the Journey That Becomes the New Normal
Childhood cancer is a life altering experience, not only for a child, but for their entire family. It is the leading cause of death in children from the time of birth to 14 years of age, defined by the age of 19, compared to all other childhood diseases. Distinctiveness to case studies done as far back as the 1960s, childhood cancer survival rates have greatly improved for most types of cancers such as acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The advancement in pediatric oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), dedicated to subject distinctive clinical oncology, the National Cancer Institute's (NCI), the Federal Government's primary agency for cancer research and training, and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), are amongst many institutes dedicated to research and development of new treatments and procedures for a cancer cure. The development of new treatments that focus on case studies, are just a few factors in the decreasing amount of child cancer fatalities.
Although such matters as chemotherapy and other medicinal treatments, therapy, and palliative care, are important parts for the cure of cancer, the family’s ability to cope with the diagnoses is extremely important, as well. Advances in the specialty of pediatric oncology have significantly improved the prognosis of children with cancer. Since this childhood disease is no longer imminently fatal, their families must face the challenge of coping...