Children are usually referred to a children's (paediatric) hospital. Teenagers may often be referred to specialist adolescent cancer units. These units have specialist doctors with a lot of experience in diagnosing and treating teenagers with cancer.
Children’s cancer centres
If your child has a bone cancer, they will be treated in a hospital, or part of a hospital, that specialises in diagnosing and treating children’s cancers (a children’s cancer centre).
These are relaxed and friendly places, and they aim to give you and your child as positive an experience as possible. You’re likely to get to know the staff well. Almost all children’s wards have a room where parents can stay.
There will also be support staff like play therapists and teachers in the hospital. Play therapists use play to help children cope with the experience of being ill. And most children’s cancer centres have education departments which can support your child while they’re in hospital.
The teaching staff at the hospital will contact teachers at your child’s school to make sure that they can continue their schooling whenever they feel well enough. It’s even possible for children to take exams in the hospital if necessary.
If your child isn’t able to go back to school soon after they go home, tutoring can often be arranged with the local education authority. The person responsible for your child’s schooling while they are in hospital will be able to organise this for you.
Teenagers and young adults
Some hospitals have teenage cancer units which are specially designed just for teenagers and young adults. Other hospitals may have special wards or areas for you if you are a teenager with cancer. There may be video games, DVDs and music
to help you feel more at home. You may have access to a computer so that you can do some of your school or college work if you feel well enough. There may also be education specialists who can keep in contact with your school or college and support your learning needs while you’re having treatment.
Most wards for teenagers allow one person to stay with you. This is usually your parent or guardian but can also be a friend, partner or other family member as long as they're older than 16 and are well.