If you are a GP and have a patient who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, the child will have open access to hospital and families will be given clear instructions about what to do, and what medication can be taken, when the child is unwell.
The treating team at the hospital can be contacted at all times via the ward or emergency number, which the family will be given.
As the family's GP, you may be involved in the child's care for reasons which can be treatment related or are general health issues:
- Gastrointestinal effects
- Central venous access
- Education and school
- Viral infections such as measles and chickenpox
- Late effects of treatment
- Palliative care
The effects from cancer and its treatment on both the child and family can be considerable, and caring for a child or young person with cancer can cause serious stress within the family. GPs can offer support and help parents to access services to help all members of the family during treatment.
It is important to maintain good communication between all levels of health care between the child's local GP and specialist hospital services.