Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Surgery has a very limited role in treating childhood leukemia. Because leukemia cells spread widely throughout the bone marrow and blood, it’s not possible to cure this type of cancer with surgery. Aside from a possible lymph node biopsy, surgery rarely has any role even in diagnosing leukemia, since this is usually done with a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy can usually diagnose leukemia.
Often before chemotherapy is about to start, surgery is needed to insert a small plastic tube, called a central venous catheter (CVC) or venous access device (VAD), into a large blood vessel. The end of the tube stays just under the skin or sticks out in the chest area or upper arm.
The CVC is left in place during treatment (often for many months) to give intravenous (IV) drugs such as chemotherapy and to take blood samples. This lowers the number of needle sticks needed during treatment. It’s very important for parents to learn how to care for the catheter to keep it from getting infected.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Horton TM, Steuber CP. Overview of the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents. UpToDate. 2018. Accessed at www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-the-treatment-of-acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-in-children-and-adolescents on December 29, 2018.
National Cancer Institute. Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/hp/child-all-treatment-pdq on December 29, 2018.
National Cancer Institute. Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia/Other Myeloid Malignancies Treatment (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/hp/child-aml-treatment-pdq on December 29, 2018.
Tarlock K, Cooper TM. Acute myeloid leukemia in children and adolescents. UpToDate. 2018. Accessed at www.uptodate.com/contents/acute-myeloid-leukemia-in-children-and-adolescents on December 29, 2018.
Last Revised: February 12, 2019