Childhood Cancer


Leukaemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, affecting around 30% of all cases of childhood cancer, closely followed by central nervous system tumours (25%). Other childhood cancers include Neuroblastoma, Retinoblastoma, soft tissue sarcomas, lymphomas and bone tumours; all of which are extremely harmful however with the increase in modern medicine, nearly three quarters of children diagnosed with cancer can now be cured. Occupational therapists can help children improve their function and reach the goals that they want to achieve, increasing their happiness and quality of life.

Does your child have any of the following difficulties?


Childhood cancer occurs in many forms, but results in common effects and side effects that have a detrimental effect on your child's occupational health and wellbeing. Some examples include:
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain
  • Changes to skin sensitivity and integrity
  • Finds clothes uncomfortable
  • Cognitive difficulties

How can these difficulties impact on function?


Side effects of cancer, its treatment and long periods of hospitalisation can result in physical, cognitive or habitual changes which impact upon a child's occupational wellbeing. Some examples of how cancer can affect life at home, in school and/or socially are listed below:

Home:
  • Difficulty concentrating on homework
  • Finds it hard to use cutlery without causing pain
  • Fatigued
School:
  • Difficulty concentrating on school work
  • Fatigued easily
  • Pain impacts the demanding school timetable
Social/behavioural:
Cancer has a certain stigma which other children are aware of and may make fun of
Can become isolated or without friends of their age

Occupational therapy can be used to address any of the above issues. Working with an occupational therapist gives your child a chance to reach the goals that they want to achieve. An example goal could be to want to reply to their friends on a computer or be able to get dressed independently, and the occupational therapist can help children achieve this.

What exactly is Childhood Cancer?


Cancer is a mutation or unregulated growth of human cells and is the third biggest killer in the U.K. In cancer, cells grow and divide uncontrollably, the body cannot naturally stop the cells growing, often leading to tumours and growths.

Causes:
Cancerous cells can develop due to a poor diet, genetically or for no known reason.

Diagnosis
Cancer can be detected in a number of ways: by noticing the symptoms of cancer, medical imagery, screening tests or through your local GP. It is usually diagnosed through blood sampling or tissue analysis.

Prevalence:
Around 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.K, this translates to roughly 1 in every 600 children aged under 15.

Occupational therapy treatment available for Childhood Cancer


Occupational therapy enables children to participate fully in the activities of life, covering self-care (e.g. dressing, grooming, feeding and toileting) productivity (e.g. school, writing) and play or leisure. Occupational therapists can assess for difficulty in these areas and provide treatment to enable both children's occupational participation and well-being. Childhood cancer can also cause developmental delays and/or deficits, occupational therapists can pinpoint these and provide rehabilitation to enable the child to return to school. Some of the benefits of OT are listed below:
  • Coping strategies
  • Pacing and energy conservation
  • Fatigue management
  • Support and education for parents/carers
  • Splinting
  • Provision of equipment
  • Environmental adaptation
  • Fine motor improvement Therapy
  • Wheelchair prescription and training

Summary


In summary Childhood cancer occurs in many forms, but results in common effects and side effects that have a detrimental effect on your child's occupational health and wellbeing. Occupational therapy enables children to participate fully in the activities of life, covering self-care (e.g. dressing, grooming, feeding and toileting) productivity (e.g. school, writing) and play or leisure. Working with an occupational therapist gives your child a chance to reach the goals that they want to achieve.

How to arrange to see a paediatric occupational therapist?


If your child has Cancer or you think that they may have some of the symptoms, our occupational therapists can help. Please email office@otforkids.co.uk or call us on 0330 223 0888 for a referral or to simply talk about the concerns you may have for your child.

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Please contact one of our experienced occupational therapists today and we will gladly discuss how we can help and what services we can offer you.

Why choose us?

  • Caring and Professional Service
  • Variety of services available
  • First class Occupational Therapists
  • Modern clinics
  • Saturday and Sunday appointments available
  • Able to see you at home, in school or in one of our clinics
  • Registered with the Health Professions Council and the British Association of Occupational Therapy

Clinics »

Below is a list of our clinics, however, we operate nationwide.

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Groups »

We run a range of Groups for children aged 0-18 years.

What people say about us...

OT for Kids have been a great help in aiding my son Jake with coping with his dyspraxia both at home and in school. They came out to our house and completed the assessment at home.

The assessment and report proved beneficial in our discussions with Jake's school and we are very pleased with the outcome the report has helped us achieve.
Jackie, parent.
At our school, there are many children who have difficulty forming letters correctly, concentrate or perform well in P.E, which can impact greatly on their learning. With the support and OT Groups available from OT for Kids, these children have made great progress and are now at a level which is not so concerning. As a teacher and SENCO, I thoroughly enjoyed working (and learning) from the Occupational Therapist.
Emily, SENCO and Teacher.
As a case manager, I regularly deal with many private companies. I found OT for Kids to be highly professional, reliable and provide me with flexible appointments that suited both me and my clients. The OT completed a comprehensive assessment and report, which was not only clear, concise and an accurate reflection of the difficulties, but it was returned to me quickly.
John, Case Manager.
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