How is it that, in this day and age, a talented teenager treated for lymphoma emerges cured but with a life-threatening eating disorder? How is it that, in our nation’s capital, a boy dying at home from neuroblastoma experiences excruciating pain in his final moments? How is that, when we develop new drugs to treat children with cancer, we do not, at the same time, routinely and in a standardized manner ask them how they are feeling?
As a pediatric oncologist and palliative care physician, I was alarmed by stories like these at the recent Institute of Medicine Workshop on Comprehensive Care for Children with Cancer that I co-chaired. Rather than being buoyed by how far we’ve come since I began this work two decades ago, I left chastened by how far we still have to go. …Read More