Comprehensive Leukemia Clinic
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin supports patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and their families through a special comprehensive program. Here, we develop a coordinated plan for all aspects of care related to the whole health of your child with leukemia—in a single clinic visit.
Focusing on total health
Most clinical visits for a child with cancer focus on treating the cancer itself, and other health considerations can become secondary. But cancer and its treatments can have detrimental effects on other aspects of a child’s health, such as nutrition, physical strength, cognitive ability and more. These effects need to be assessed and treated accordingly.
Trying to coordinate appointments with the various specialists a child would need to see to assess all these conditions can be daunting. One of the primary reasons we established our comprehensive leukemia clinic was to ease this burden for both the patient and their family. At our clinic, children with ALL are scheduled to see a number of specialists within a single visit. This multidisciplinary team then designs a comprehensive, coordinated care plan to assess, monitor and treat the effects of cancer around the child’s whole health. The objective is early assessment so preemptive measures can be taken.
In addition to the physical effects of cancer therapy, patients—and their families—attending this program will have quality-of-life measures assessed such as fatigue, stress and anxiety levels.
Your child and family benefit from our comprehensive clinic in several ways.
- Children are seen by highly trained specialists who are able to recognize subtle indications of problems before damaging conditions can progress. Each leukemia is different, and so are its effects on the individual child.
- Specialists, physicians and families create a care plan together, resulting in individualized, coordinated care.
- Our patients have access to a myriad of clinical trials for leukemia at a center where many were and are developed, including relapse trials not available anywhere else.
- Combining appointments into a single visit reduces the number of clinic appointments and wait times for you and your child, as well as eases some of the burden during an already difficult time.
Our aim is for every child, adolescent and young adult with ALL at Children’s Hospital to receive this comprehensive assessment and care in our specialized comprehensive clinic. The initial clinic assessment is done two months after diagnosis, then at six months, followed by 12 months. Following the first year, assessments take place annually until the patient moves into our survivorship program called the “Next Steps Clinic”. Clinical information is compiled at each visit and used to make decisions for ongoing treatment.
At each Comprehensive Clinic appointment, a child will typically see the following professionals:
• Pediatric oncology physician leukemia specialist and/or leukemia nurse practitioner
• Physical therapist
• Social worker
• Child-family life specialist