Laura Stimler, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, C/NDT
Earn: .2 AOTA CEUs (2.5 NBCOT PDUs/2 Contact hours)
The National Cancer Institute (2019a) defines childhood cancer as “A term used to describe cancers that occur between birth and 15 years of age. Childhood cancers are very rare and may differ from adult cancers in the way they grown and spread, how they are treated, and how they respond to treatment.” This presentation will focuses on occupational therapy assessment and intervention for children diagnosed with cancer from birth to 15 year old; however, many occupational therapy practitioners working in pediatric cancer specialty institutions will also evaluate and treat adolescents and young adults through their early twenties. Most clients are followed by a specialized pediatric oncology medical team from the time of diagnosis through the end of treatment--which can be many years. There are several differences in cancers that target adults compared to those that affect children. First, childhood cancers are not strongly connected to environmental factors or lifestyle habits. In addition, very few are hereditary. Some childhood cancers emerge in different cells of origin and respond better to treatment compared to adults. Unfortunately, younger children are more susceptible to the significant long-term side effects of treatment (ACS, 2019).
Following this course, the learner will:
1) Identify common types of pediatric cancer diagnoses, treatment, and precautions throughout the continuum
2) Discuss areas of childhood occupation heavily affected by cancer and its treatment;
3) Apply evidence-based evaluation and treatment techniques effective to decrease the burden of cancer and improve the quality of life for pediatric oncology clients;
4) Discuss the distinct value of occupational therapy in maximizing well-being and quality of life during and following cancer treatment for diverse pediatric communities.