Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Pediatric AML

After receiving your child’s AML diagnosis, you will have many questions, including what to do first. Start by learning more about this blood cancer using the trusted resources in the back of this guide. Feeling informed will help you advocate for your child and may offer some clarity during this uncertain time.

If the diagnosis came from your child’s pediatrician, a priority will be finding a physician and/or treatment center with extensive experience treating pediatric AML. Your pediatrician should be able to provide a referral. Local and national advocacy groups may assist as well.

Seeking a second opinion is extremely valuable. Different doctors bring unique perspectives based on their own expertise. Depending on your child’s diagnosis, it may be necessary to begin treatment right away or consider a clinical trial. However, it is never too late to get a second opinion. Treatment may be modified as new information is introduced or as the disease changes.

Continuing to parent “like normal” may seem impossible, but staying in a routine is extremely valuable for everyone in the family. Encourage your child to keep up with friendships. If the risk of infection is too great to see friends in person, kids can still stay connected through video games as well as phones and video chats. That may be how they prefer to hang out anyway!

Explaining to your other kids that their sibling has cancer can be difficult. Be there to listen to their feelings. Set aside time for each of them to be with you and to do what they enjoy. 

If your child is school age, arrange for tutors and remote studies. When your child can return to school, talk with the school administration and request additional resources, including emotional and social support, to ease the transition. Be sure to address learning or classroom difficulties early.
Words of encouragement: Your child will have many concerns and will look to you for help, but no one expects you to have all the answers. It is OK for your entire family to seek support. Many parents and children are going through the same treatments and appointments as your family and may offer valuable insights. Use the many resources available to connect with them and help you cope.

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