Provide cancer treatments to babies and children.
What does a Pediatric Oncologist do?
A Pediatric Oncologist diagnoses and treats cancer in patients under the age of 18. That’s serious business! After all, childhood is supposed to be fun, filled with ice cream, Saturday morning cartoons, and lots and lots of jumping on the bed. Unfortunately, cancer does occur in babies, children, and teens.
Although it’s uncommon – kids make up only about one percent of all cancer patients in the United States – it’s devastating when it happens. For kids with cancer, life is filled with nausea, headaches, and hospital beds. Fortunately, Pediatric Oncologists are there to help.
As a Pediatric Oncologist, you wage a war against childhood cancers like leukemia with a special sensitivity and skill set. That’s because pediatric cancer patients require unique and customized care due to their small size, immature immune systems, and developing anatomies.
That said, your job as a Pediatric Oncologist is similar in many respects to that of a regular Oncologist who treats adults. For example, it involves examining patients, evaluating symptoms, screening for and diagnosing cancers, and offering prognoses. It also involves recommending treatments, prescribing drugs, and administering therapies, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
While those duties are standard, others are not: Since you work with children, you’re not only a Doctor but also a Counselor, helping children and their families maintain hope and high spirits during treatment.
Cancer at any age is traumatic. Because it’s especially harrowing among children, however, your job requires giving not only treatment but also education, empathy, and encouragement. Think of it this way: You’re not only fighting cancer; you’re also defending childhood.