Navigating Hope: A Compassionate Guide Through Paediatric Oncology Challenges — Dr Ruthresh Rao Subramanyan

As each child’s cancer trajectory is inherently unique, comprehending the intricacies of treatment protocols becomes pivotal in medical decision-making.

In the intricate landscape of paediatric oncology, where understanding is paramount, this article serves as an invaluable resource for families thrust into the complexities of childhood cancer.

Focused on imparting crucial medical information, we dissect the intricate details of this journey, particularly for those navigating the uncharted waters of a recent diagnosis.

Treatment Dynamics: A Medical Deep Dive

Management Of Common Side Effects

Within the realm of childhood cancer treatment, it is crucial to acknowledge that many children may experience weight loss due to the cancer itself or poor appetite during chemotherapy.

Factors such as food aversion or changes in taste can contribute to nutritional challenges. In this context, our article emphasises a medical perspective on these challenges, detailing evidence-based strategies for managing common side effects.

From antiemetic interventions to fatigue mitigation protocols, we explore the medical rationale behind recommendations, ensuring parents are equipped with actionable knowledge.

Decoding Treatment Protocols

As each child’s cancer trajectory is inherently unique, comprehending the intricacies of treatment protocols becomes pivotal in medical decision-making.

We also recognise that maintaining adequate nutrition is a fundamental aspect of a child’s overall health during treatment. The dietitian or doctor may recommend foods that might seem unconventional but are chosen for specific nutritional reasons.

Emphasising variety and balance in the diet, we address concerns about unhealthy food recommendations and caution against excessive use of supplements, highlighting the potential harm in exceeding daily recommended requirements.

Transitioning Beyond Treatment: Remission And Follow-Up Care

Post-Treatment Adjustments

Achieving remission signifies a critical juncture, demanding a detailed understanding of post-treatment adjustments. Our article addresses the impact of cancer and treatment on a child’s nutritional status.

Recognising that weight loss can occur, we stress the importance of a good diet that provides everything needed to keep the body functioning well.

The medical team may recommend specific foods, including high-calorie milks/drinks, to supplement oral intake.

We explain the medical reasons behind these recommendations and explore alternative methods such as naso-gastric tube feeding or intravenous nutrition (TPN) when oral intake is challenging.

Vigilance For Recurrence

In the realm of post-treatment vigilance, our article acknowledges the significance of energy needs even in less active states.

We provide insight into the measurement of energy in calories and discuss how the dietician may prescribe nutritional support, considering various delivery methods based on the child’s condition.

Additionally, we stress the importance of consuming cooked foods and address specific dietary precautions, including washing and peeling fruits, avoiding non-pasteurized products, and eliminating certain high-risk foods like ‘rojak.’

Hopes And Reassurance

In the intricate tapestry of childhood cancer, this medical article stands as a comprehensive repository for families seeking not only emotional support but also a detailed understanding of the medical intricacies inherent in the journey.

Rooted in evidence-based practices, we extend our support to families, arming them with the medical knowledge needed to navigate challenges with resilience and confidence.

Wishing resilience and courage to all families in our medical community.

Dr Ruthresh Rao Subramanyan is the Health Promotion Lead, Medical Officer Community and Public Health at National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM). 

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

You may also like