Genetic Counseling

The goal of the Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program is to provide individuals with information and guidelines based on their family history and/or genetic test results that will help in the prevention and early detection of cancer.

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Genetics and Cancer Risk

Researchers estimate that about 8.5 to 10 percent of childhood cancers are due to hereditary factors.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing may identify a hereditary cancer syndrome in a child, and could:

  • Answer why a child developed cancer;
  • Guide screening for other cancers;
  • Guide treatment strategies and
  • Identify other family members at risk for cancer/other medical conditions

How Can Genetic Counseling Help Families?

A Genetic Counselor

Wants to listen and understand what patients and families are going through - to help them make decisions. The genetic counselor may:

  • Conduct a genetic risk assessment
  • Discuss genetic testing
  • Determine how patients and families perceive cancer risk
  • Discuss emotional well-being
  • Ask about family dynamics  and support system
  • Provide helpful resources
  • Discuss future health concerns

Our program is led by genetic counselors who specialize in the discovery and explanation of a child’s personal and/or family history as it relates to their diagnosis of cancer.

The genetic risk assessment conducted by the genetic counselor may determine whether the child has a personal or family history associated with a hereditary cancer syndrome.

Genetic counseling can help parents and families make informed decisions regarding testing, treatments and future plans.

Possible Reasons for Referral

  • Atypical teratoid or rhabdoid tumor
  • Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Colon polyps or adenocarcinoma
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma
  • Endolymphatic sac tumors
  • Hemangioblastoma
  • Hepatoblastoma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Malignant nerve sheath tumors
  • Ovarian sertoli-leydig cell tumors
  • Optic pathway glioma
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Pituitary blastoma
  • Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma
  • Pleuropulmonary blastoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Thyroid carcinoma

Our Genetic Counselors

Contact us

Fax: 717-531-0822