GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —September is childhood cancer awareness month and the pediatric division at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has specialized their approach for treatment in each of their patients.  They are taking a personal approach for each patient to find out individually what is causing the cancer to develop and targeting the best way to cure it.  The doctors at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital also have been developing a treatment method that avoids using traditional chemotherapy.

Over the last 30 to 50 years there have been medical breakthroughs in treating cancer in children.  This has been done primarily by chemotherapy medications that while effective, carry side effects.  Patients have experienced hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and a weakened immune system.  Doctors have been hopeful in ways to improve treatment that interrupts children’s lives much less than chemotherapy.  A great example of a patient that has had successful results from non-chemotherapy treatment is Lacy McNeil.      

Lacy came into Helen DeVos Children’s hospital for a blood check as she was experiencing Iron deficiency.  During the X rays, doctors found a tumor the size of softball in her chest.  Lacy had a rare pediatric cancer that shows no symptoms.  Thankfully to modern medicine Lacy has been able to melt away the tumor by just taking a pill twice a day and has no side effects.  You would never know Lacy was a cancer patient as she has been able to continue with her life doing the things she loves while beating cancer.  The future is very bright for pediatric cancer research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.     

Sponsor Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital