Resources available to patients at the new clinic include oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncology, pathologists, oncology nurses, child life specialists and other sub-specialists that play an imperative role in treating a cancer patient. With this comprehensive design, rather than scheduling separate appointments with multiple specialists, parents can take their child to one place where all of the services they need are available.
Jennifer Aldrink, MD, a pediatric surgeon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Mark Ranalli, MD, pediatric oncologist in Hematology/Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation at Nationwide Children’s, lead the Surgical Oncology Clinic and know first-hand that a diagnosis of cancer can be a very hard on the entire family.
“There are lots of X-rays, therapies are timed in particular ways and there are often second and third surgeries that patients need,” said Dr. Ranalli, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “The more you can condense everything down to one stop, the less of a burden it’s going to be on a family. It translates to fewer days of work missed, fewer days of school missed, and in general, it creates a greater sense of normalcy for the patient.”
Another significant aspect of the Surgical Oncology Clinic’s design is that the entire physician team is involved with each patient’s treatment from diagnosis until even after completion of treatment. This team approach eases stress on families who rely on direct, consistent information from physicians. When patients first arrive, they are evaluated by an oncologist and other specialists during a single appointment. During this time, the oncologist and specialists work together and with the family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
“Having a surgeon and an oncologist in one setting is very convenient for families because it not only makes it easier to schedule, but it also gives them a comfort that we’re all working together as one team,” said Dr. Aldrink, also a faculty member at OSU College of Medicine.
Pediatric tumors and cancers that the Surgical Oncology Clinic treat include, but are not limited to, neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, skin cancer, sarcomas, vascular tumors, ovarian tumors, tumors of the stomach and intestine, pancreatic tumors and liver tumors. The clinic operates two days each month and by appointment.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the top pediatric cancer hospitals in the country, and is designated as a National Institutes of Health Comprehensive Cancer Center. It also houses the Biopathology Center, the largest pediatric tumor registry in the country.
Nationwide Children’s recommends that parents always speak to their pediatrician first. To contact the Surgical Oncology Clinic, call (614) 722-6200 or visit www.NationwideChildrens.org.