Stories about: pediatric cancer

Are medical communities the new marketing demographic?

Have you heard about the bald Barbie movement? It’s a grassroots, digital campaign asking Mattel to make a version of the doll without her trademark golden locks to benefit children with illness. According to the group’s Facebook page, which has gained more than 130,000 fans in less than a month, bald Barbie would let “children suffering cancer, alopecia and any other illness that causes them to lose their hair, feel just as beautiful as the dolls they play with.”

Regardless of how people feel about the plastic fashion icon—she’s been around for more than half a century but still seems to be a very polarizing figure; often because of her figure—the online support for bald Barbie is undeniable. Many people seem ready to overlook any issues they may have had with Barbie’s build and stereotyped past in order to focus on her potential as a cancer survival spokes doll. Here’s just a slight sample of the thousands of messages her online fans are sharing with each other:

I will keep posting all the great things about this Bald Barbie God Bless the work you are doing

I’ve forwarded it and wish I could do more. How can I help from Brazil?

Amazing idea! I re-posted a messages about a week ago that said…why don’t they make a hairless Barbie named hope dressed in pink with all proceeds going to help to cure cancer. I had no idea it was actually a work in progress! I 100% support this. I think it would make children fighting this feel good. Anything to help. And why not make dolls with other problems?! Spreading information and helping the cause or even a cure for the cause…what a Wonderful idea!

And it’s not just parents online that like the idea. Cori Liptak, PhD, a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology Program at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center was recently interviewed about her support for the doll.

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School life for kids post-cancer takes a toll

child doing school work

by Marybeth Morris, Ed.M.

The advancement of medical science in diagnosing and treating certain pediatric cancers such as brain tumors or leukemia has led to increased survival rates for pediatric cancer patients. Due to neurocognitive deficits and physical sequelae, many child cancer survivors face significant challenges upon their return to school and throughout their academic career.

Schools often perceive that once a child’s treatment has ended, he or she will return to “baseline” and not necessarily require continued academic and emotional supports. Parents may also be uncertain about a few things.

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Suicidal thoughts in childhood cancer survivors

stockphotopro_6796657NRF_depressed_or_saCancer care for children has improved dramatically in the last 40 years.  Prior to the 1970s, childhood cancer was often a fatal diagnosis. Now, thanks to advances in cancer treatments, about 80 percent of pediatric cancer patients can expect to be cured of their cancer and grow into to adulthood.

Unfortunately, the intensive treatments needed to cure children of their cancers can have significant effects on their physical and emotional health later in life.

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