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Pediatric Radiation

Radiation therapy (also called radiation oncology) uses special kinds of energy waves or particles to fight cancer. Like surgery, radiation therapy is used in several ways depending on the type and location of the cancer. Certain levels of radiation work to destroy cancer cells or prevent cells from growing or reproducing. This treatment may provide a cure for cancer, control the disease, or help relieve its symptoms.

Although each hospital may have specific protocols, radiation therapy usually begins with these procedures:

  • Simulation process. After a physical examination and a review of your child's medical history, the treatment team "maps" out the position your child will be in for each treatment and the exact location on your child's body (referred to as treatment field or port) where the radiation will be given (the simulation process). Sometimes, the area on your child's body that requires treatment will be marked to make sure radiation is given properly. The treatment team may also make molds, headrests, or other devices that help to position your child during your treatment. Imaging studies may also be performed during the simulation process to help plan how to direct the radiation during treatments.

  • Treatment plan. Once the simulation process is completed, the radiation oncologist will determine your child's treatment plan, including the type of machine to use, the amount of radiation that is needed, and the number of treatments that will be given.

Applicable Conditions

Applicable Conditions

Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer of the retina (the innermost layer of the eye, located at the back of the eye, that receives light and images necessary for vision).

Bone Tumors

Children’s National Hospital has a team of individuals who are highly skilled and experienced in the treatment of bone tumors, including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. Learn more about these conditions.

Leukemia

Leukemia is the most common form of pediatric cancer. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and develops in the bone marrow. Learn more about this condition.

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that originates in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons and connective tissues.

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma is a type of cancer that grows in soft tissues that support and connect parts of the body.

Neuroblastoma

Pediatric neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumor that begins in nerve tissue of infants and very young children.

Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or spinal cord. Learn more about this condition.

Germ Cell Tumors

Germ cell tumors are tumors that are comprised mostly of germ cells. Germ cells are the cells that develop and become the cells that make up the reproductive system. Learn more about this condition.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is cancer in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and functions to fight disease and infections. Learn more about its causes and treatments.

Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the nasal cavity and the pharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Learn more about its causes and treatments.

Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Jeffrey Dome

Jeffrey Dome

Vice President, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Division Chief, Oncology
Associate Director, Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Children's Locations that Perform this Procedure

Treatment Service Locations

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Departments

Departments

Radiation Oncology Program

Learn more about our collaborative Pediatric Radiation Oncology Program, which focuses on advancing pediatric clinical care and pediatric radiation oncology research.

Leukemia Lymphoma Program

We deliver comprehensive care for all blood cancers including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant and experimental therapeutics.

Oncology

Our oncology (cancer) team provides personalized treatment plans for children with cancer, including access to clinical trials.

Solid Tumor Program

Our Solid Tumor Program has a dedicated team of sarcoma experts who specialize in the newest treatments and clinical trials.

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