Helping Childhood Cancer Patients

Helping Childhood Cancer Patients Continue Schooling 

Issues and Challenges at the Cancer Information and Support Centers

National Cancer Centre, Japan

In 2013, fifteen Children’s Cancer Hospitals were designated by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to improve the lives of children and families living with cancer.

Advances in child cancer treatment have made addressing their continual education needs an essential part of care, yet this brings new challenges for patients, parents and medical practitioners. This preliminary study assesses the current state of information provisioning and consultation at the Cancer Information and Support Centers (CISCs) among the 424 adult and child Designated Cancer Care Hospitals (DCCHs) in 2015. We conducted a nationwide survey of CISC’s, and asked the consultation experience and difficulties they face during the child cancer consultations.

Among 255 DCCHs with pediatric service, only 18.5% of CISCs had experienced schooling related consultations. Majority of such consultations were from parents, but a significant proportion were from medical staffs as well as educators. Over 70% of respondent CISC’s indicated difficulties in effectively supporting such consultations. At the same time, less than 30% of them knew the regional special needs education coordinators who could potentially provide useful pointers and liaise with educators. Empowering the CISC’s to better liaise with pertinent support resources previously outside their network, and a better way to accumulate (& share) their best practices, could potentially make them more effective.

Submitted by:

Tomoko Takayama, National Cancer Centre, Japan