How is Childhood Cancer Diagnosed?


The pediatric oncologists at NewYork-Presbyterian use a range of tools to diagnose the cause of your child’s cancer symptoms. In every case, we do all we can to ensure your child is comfortable during these procedures, which may include:

  • Physical examination
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, and MRI scans
  • Tissue and/or bone marrow biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • Spinal tap
  • Tumor sequencing
  • Genetic testing to look for abnormalities associated with certain cancers

How is Childhood Cancer Treated?


Childhood cancer treatments vary widely based on the type and severity of the cancer. NewYork-Presbyterian offers cutting-edge treatment options for every type of pediatric cancer.

Precision medicine

We perform genetic analysis of tumor tissue for every patient with pediatric cancer we treat. Using next-generation techniques, such as the Precision in Pediatric Sequencing (PIPseq) platform, we can study the molecules driving the growth of your child’s cancer — giving us the information we need to find the best treatment.

Chemotherapy and targeted therapies

We match your child’s medical treatment to the biology of his or her cancer. We are also devising novel ways of delivering anticancer medications directly to brain tumors (“convection-enhanced chemotherapy.”)

CAR T-cell therapy, an immunotherapy for some children with leukemia. NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital is certified to provide this “living therapy,” in which a patient’s T cells are removed, modified in a lab to recognize lymphoma cells, multiplied, and then returned to the patient to detect and destroy cancer cells.

Pediatric cancer surgery

Our experienced pediatric surgeons understand your child’s fears and perform operations using the least invasive approach possible.

Radiation therapy

We use radiation therapy only when necessary and apply techniques to limit radiation exposure to healthy tissues near the tumor. Our team includes radiation oncologists with advanced training in pediatric care. Radiation therapy care for childhood cancer is offered by professionals at both NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Stem cell transplantation

The donation of healthy stem cells through stem cell transplantation from a matched donor is a treatment for sickle cell disease and some blood cancers and disorders. This treatment is provided at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley.

Investigational therapies

Your child may have access to clinical trials of promising new pediatric cancer treatments at both of our children’s hospitals. NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley is one of only 21 institutions in the country, and the only one in New York, designated by the National Cancer Institute to conduct Phase I pediatric clinical trials — the earliest phase of studies for patients.

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Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Childhood Cancer Care

At NewYork-Presbyterian, we provide effective treatment with the goal of helping children with cancer live normal, productive lives and grow up to be healthy adults. We have special expertise in pediatric oncology —not only at initial diagnosis but also in children and adolescents whose disease has come back despite prior therapies. Families come to us from all over the world for our expert care.

We offer treatments for pediatric cancers that are based on the latest medical research and include access to investigational therapies in clinical trials. Our hospitals have dedicated Pediatric Intensive Care Units featuring staff members with subspecialty training in pediatric critical care medicine.