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Practical considerations for prognostic communication in pediatric cancer.

High-quality communication is essential for the optimal care of children with cancer and their families. There are opportunities for pediatric oncologists to engage in clear and compassionate prognostic communication across the disease trajectory including at the time of diagnosis, disease recurrence or progression, and end of life. Contrary to previously held beliefs, prognostic disclosure supports parental hope and meets the needs and expectations of families who prefer honest conversations about prognosis. These communication encounters can be challenging with many oncologists having little training in this important skill. In this summary, we aim to provide practical guidance for prognostic communication in pediatric cancer across the illness trajectory giving phrases we have found helpful including a brief overview of some published communication frameworks utilized in the care of pediatric oncology patients and families.

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