I’m worried my child has cancer

Parents and children with cancer say that knowing about the tests that they may have helps them to cope. You and your child are likely to have many questions. Ask your doctor about your concerns before any testing is done.

Common questions include:

  • What tests will my child have?
  • What can be done to alleviate my child’s pain?
  • What does the doctor expect to get from the tests?
  • How soon will the results be known?
  • What do the results mean?

A doctor administers to a young patient.

A few of the tests are painful; most are not. For tests that can be painful, such as the bone marrow aspiration test and spinal tap pain medicines (an anesthetic) are often given.

For some tests, your child may need to remain still for as long as an hour. Young children are usually given a general anesthetic, or your child can be given medicine to help them relax and become sleepy.

Talk to the treatment team about how to help your child to relax. (When your child is relaxed, the procedures are less painful). Scruff lifting newspaperOften a combination of pain medicine and relaxation techniques is used. Music and other techniques can help to ease your child’s discomfort and fear.

Common Cancer Tests

Blood Studies
Lumbar puncture (also known as spinal tap)
Imaging Tests (MRI, CT scan, Angiogram, Ultrasound)

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