Better journeys, better outcomes
If your child is diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder, we understand it’s not easy news to hear, but know that Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota will be with you and your child along every step of the way. We believe that by providing the best journey for the patient and family, it will lead to the best outcomes. You’ll receive first-rate, compassionate care from the moment we meet.
Every patient’s journey is unique — from the tests they need to the individualized treatments they receive. From the start, your child will meet with a physician and be assigned a health care team that will work with you and your child through each stage of treatment and recovery. Cancer treatment journeys are broken into three phases:
- Diagnosis and treatment — Phase one, a cancer diagnosis, is followed by a personalized treatment plan. Consultations with other pediatric specialists are scheduled as needed.
- Recovery and wellness — Phase two takes place in the two-to five-year period after completing treatment. It includes follow-up visits and evaluations about the possible side effects of treatment with the recovery and wellness team.
- STAR Clinic (Surveillance and testing after recovery) — Our STAR Clinic team helps patients with their survivorship journey – following the recovery and wellness phase. This includes yearly clinic visits, nutrition and exercise plans, and well-care education to ensure patients are equipped to embrace life after cancer therapy.
A couple of routes to care
Depending on a child’s symptoms, he or she may be seen by a cancer or blood disorder specialist in the hospital, at one of Children’s outpatient clinics — including the C.H. Robinson Infusion Center on our Minneapolis campus — or in one of our emergency departments.
Most children and teens are referred to Children’s cancer and blood disorders program by their primary care doctor. He or she may suggest that a child be evaluated by an oncologist (cancer specialist) or hematologist (blood disorder specialist).
Occasionally, physicians caring for patients who are hospitalized at Children’s or another facility will seek a consultation with an oncologist or hematologist for help diagnosing or treating patients.
A clinic visit
If your child’s care journey brings you to Children’s cancer and blood disorders (CBD) outpatient clinic, knowing what to expect helps make the first visit less stressful. Before the visit, talk about it with your child. Show your child a photo of the doctor he or she will see from our directory.
To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child’s care, it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process and concentrate on what’s most important to us — talking with you and taking great care of your child.
Please bring the following:
- Any questions you have
- Recent medical history
- A list of medications and allergies
- Any paperwork provided by a referring physician
- Your insurance card and co-pay (when applicable)
- Your child’s favorite toy, blanket, book or activity (helpful for long visits)
Once you’ve checked in, a clinic assistant will check height, weight and blood pressure, and then a pediatric oncologist, hematologist or nurse practitioner will examine your child. Your child may need testing, such as blood tests. You will have the chance to discuss any concerns or questions with the care team.
Before you leave the appointment, you’ll receive a summary of the clinic visit and a plan for any future appointments. Depending on your child’s condition, later appointments may include treatments such as chemotherapy, transfusion of red blood cells or platelets, or other services.
If your child is visiting the hospital, the check-in process is similar to when visiting the outpatient clinic. However, we know that you won’t always have time to prepare before getting to the hospital, so we’ll help get all the details worked out once you’re here. In our inpatient unit, you’ll find a recently renovated area with the following:
- 33 private, spacious rooms with private baths, sleeper sofas, workspaces, big-screen TVs, video games and refrigerators
- Class A isolation rooms
- Comfortable family and sibling play areas
We also have a variety of amenities and services to take care of everyone in the family while you’re here, from music therapy for patients to snacks for visitors to eat.
If you have questions, you can call the inpatient unit any time at 612-813-6144.
Cancer or a blood disorder can be a difficult diagnosis to digest. If your child is has one of these conditions, you, your child and Children’s will be on the journey together. We are always available to answer questions or address concerns — any time, day or night. Just pick up the phone and call us.