Tests and treatment

Tests and procedures occur throughout diagnosis and treatment. Depending on your child’s age and ability to stay still, some of these tests and procedures may be done under sedation or general anaesthesia. It is important to remember that not all children will have the same tests and procedures. Your child’s treating team will give you more information prior to your child undertaking any of these tests or procedures. Some common tests and procedures during diagnosis and treatment include:

  • Audiogram
  • Biopsy
  • Blood tests
  • BMA – Bone marrow aspirate
  • Bone scan
  • Central lines
  • CT scan – Computerised Axial Tomography
  • ECG –  Electrocardiogram
  • Gallium Scan
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate – GFR
  • Insuflons
  • LP – Lumbar puncture
  • MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nasogastric tube
  • PET scan – Positron Emission Tomography
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray

After your child’s cancer has been diagnosed, your child’s treating team will discuss treatment options with you, and a treatment plan will be agreed. There are three main types of treatment for cancer: chemotherapy (drug therapy), radiation therapy and surgery. Your child may receive one or more of these treatments at different times throughout their care. For a small proportion of children, a bone marrow transplant may be needed as part of treatment. Please remember that not all children will require all types of treatment.

For more information refer to the information book for an overview of common tests, procedures and treatments or speak to your child’s treating team.


Specific written information is also available for:

Blood tests and blood counts, also available in Arabic, Chinese (Simple), Chinese (Traditional), Dari, Khmer, Sinhalese, Turkish and Vietnamese)

Bone marrow transplant (RCH website)

Clinical trials – visit websites including ANZCHOG, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Children’s Oncology Group, CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

Medication and sharps return and disposal

PET Scan – positron emission tomography

Side effects of chemotherapy, also available in Arabic, Chinese (Simple), Chinese (Traditional), Dari, Khmer, Sinhalese, Turkish and Vietnamese)

Surgical insertion of a port and Surgical insertion of a Hickman line

Total Body Irradiation (TBI)


Videos are also available for:

Blood counts


Procedural pain management

Tube feeding

When treatment begins: two stories of diagnosis and treatment for paediatric cancer