- How is childhood leukemia treated?
- Immediate treatment of childhood leukemia
- Surgery for childhood leukemia
- Radiation treatment for childhood leukemia
- Chemotherapy for childhood leukemia
- Targeted therapy for childhood leukemia
- High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant for childhood leukemia
- Treatment of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Treatment of children with acute myeloid leukemia
- Treatment of children with acute promyelocytic leukemia
- Treatment of children with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia
- Treatment of children with chronic myelogenous leukemia
- More information on treating childhood leukemia
- Status of acute leukemia after treatment
- Clinical trials for childhood leukemia
- Complementary and alternative therapies for childhood leukemia
How is childhood leukemia treated?
Children and teens with leukemia and their families have special needs. These needs can be met best by cancer centers for children and teens, working closely with the child's primary care doctor. Treatment in these centers gives you the advantage of having teams of specialists who know the differences between cancers in adults and those in children and teens, as well as the special needs of younger people with cancer.
Your child's cancer care team will talk to you about treatment options. The most important factor in choosing a treatment is the type of leukemia, although other factors also play a role.
The main treatment for childhood leukemia is chemotherapy (chemo). Other treatments such as surgery and radiation treatment may be used in some cases.
Your doctor should make sure that your child's treatment reflects his or her risk group. Your child should be treated according to a set of instructions called a protocol from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or a cooperative study group. This will ensure the most up-to-date treatment for your child. And be sure to ask your doctor about any side effects your child might have from treatment. Many parents find it helpful to bring a note pad or a tape recorder when they talk to the doctor.
Be sure to tell your child's doctor about any drugs, herbal remedies, or other things you might be giving your child. These could affect how well the treatment works.
The next few sections contain general comments about types of treatments used for childhood leukemia, followed by a discussion of treatment options based on the type of leukemia.
Last Medical Review: 06/29/2012
Last Revised: 01/21/2013