Sparrow Children's Center, in cooperation with the board certified pediatric oncologists (cancer specialists for children) at Michigan State University, provides comprehensive care for children with cancer.

The Sparrow/MSU pediatric cancer team provides quality, family-centered developmentally-based care using a multidisciplinary team and state-of-the-art treatment based on national protocols.

The team caring for those experiencing childhood cancer includes:

  • board certified pediatric oncologists from MSU
  • pediatric surgeon
  • pediatric radiologist
  • pediatric subspecialists including cardiology, renal, pulmonary, gastroenterology, pain management and infectious disease
  • master's prepared nurse practitioner with national certification in pediatric oncology
  • registered nurses with special training in chemotherapy
  • pediatric psychologist
  • child life specialists
  • nutritionists
  • social workers
  • discharge planners
  • chaplains
  • a full pediatric rehabilitation team
  • and nursing associates with years of experience working with children of all ages

Sparrow and MSU belong to Children's Oncology Group (COG), an international cooperative that designs, implements, and monitors state-of-the art treatment plans and clinical trials. Affiliation with COG provides the medical team with immediate access to additional experts in childhood cancer throughout the United States and several foreign countries.

Types of cancer cared for at Sparrow Children's Center

  • Leukemia (patients less than or equal to 21 years of age)
  • Neuroblastoma (patients less than or equal to 18 years of age)
  • Wilm's Tumor (any age)
  • Lymphoma (patients less than 21 years of age)
  • Hodgkin's Disease (patients less than 21 years of age)
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma (patients less than 21 years of age)
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma (patients less than 21 years of age)
  • Ewing's Sarcoma (patients less than or equal to 30 years of age)
  • Osteosarcoma (patients less than or equal to 30 years of age)
  • Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET) (patients less than or equal to 30 years of age)
  • Hepatoblastoma/Hepatocellular Carcinoma (patients less than 21 years of age)
  • Germ Cell Tumor (patients less than or equal to 21 years of age)
  • Brain Tumor (ependymoma, medulloblastoma, astrocytoma, PNET, or glioma) (patients less than 26 years of age)

Psychosocial support

Psychosocial support of the person with cancer and their family is an important part of cancer treatment, especially for children and teenagers. All care providers at the Sparrow Children's Center take this support seriously.

At Sparrow you'll find:

  • Strong emphasis on patient and family education
  • Help in management of pain and anxiety
  • Contact with schools including special classroom and staff presentations; arranging for homebound teachers and special testing when indicated
  • Special activities to provide distraction, stimulate development and manage stress
  • Parents are encouraged to be a part of the care and overnight sleeping cots are provided so that one parent can stay with the child at all times.
  • A Ronald McDonald House is across the street from the hospital for use by members of the family, and as respite for parents or the patient when services are being provided on an outpatient basis.

There is evidence that attitude can affect health and that a positive attitude results in better functioning of the immune system. The team at the Sparrow Children's Center does their best to promote that positive attitude and to help patients and families through a difficult life experience. Relationships are established that often do not end with the completion of the medical treatment.