Oncology: Then and Now

Much has changed in oncology the last 50 years. In the 1960s, childhood cancer survival rates were less than 20 percent. Today, survival rates near 80 percent, according to the National Cancer       Insti20130423_0071tute.

Isn’t that astounding? It’s been amazing to watch the changes in cancer diagnosis, treatment and knowledge since the time I first visited CHOC in 1964.

Today, the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s provides personalized pediatric cancer treatment by nationally recognized specialists. Physicians and staff treat not just the child’s cancer, but her whole needs: emotional, spiritual and physical. CHOC believes that children should still get to feel like kids, even when dealing with a grown-up issue like cancer.

Because many patients battling cancer spend a long time in the hospital, I’ve gotten to know many through the years. Like all CHOC patients, they are brave and courageous. They inspire me, and I’m thankful every day for them and the doctors who provide their care.

Send them your best wishes in the comments section or on social media by using the hashtag #thxCHOC.


The Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s believes in a team approach to providing treatment to patients that includes a multidisciplinary team of physicians and specialists and the patient’s family. A cancer diagnosis touches the lives of the entire family, and that’s why the Cancer Institute is dedicated to a family-centered approach to care that includes immediately pairing patients and their families with a pediatric oncology nurse coordinator who serves as an advocate for the child and family throughout the patient’s course of treatment.


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