The Cancer Predisposition Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital helps to evaluate and care for children who are at increased genetic risk for cancer. We are a team of doctors, nurses and genetic counselors who work together with families to find out if a child’s cancer might be inherited (passed down through the generations). We work closely with other St. Jude doctors and researchers to find new and better ways to help families who have a higher chance than normal to get cancer.
If your child is being treated at St. Jude, you might have many questions such as:
- What caused my child's cancer?
- Will my child develop another cancer?
- What about my other children?
Common reasons your child might be referred to our program:
- Your child has a cancer that might be linked to a specific genetic condition
- Your child does not have a cancer, but has a genetic condition that increases their risk
- Close family members have a genetic condition that increases the risk to get cancer and you want to find out whether your child may also be at risk
- Your child has certain body features that could mean a greater risk to develop cancer
Request an Appointment
If your child is a St. Jude patient, have your child’s treatment doctor request a consult.
If you are new to St. Jude, contact the St. Jude Physician/Patient Referral Office:
Voice: 1 (888) 226-4343 or (901) 595-4055
Fax: (901) 595-4011
If you have questions, email: GPTeam@stjude.org
How to prepare for your clinic visit
Gather your family medical history. It is important to know the medical history of parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, especially anyone who had cancer. If a family member had cancer, follow the steps below as much as possible.
- Ask for copies of family members’ cancer medical records to share with your child’s doctor, nurse and genetic counselor.
- If you cannot get copies of their medical records, try to find out what type of cancer they had and how old they were when it was found.
- If a family member had cancer in more than one body part, try to find out if doctors thought it was one type of cancer that spread, or different types of cancer that happened separately.
- If the cancer happened in the eyes, breasts, kidneys or adrenal glands, try to find out which of these organs was affected.
- If any family members had cancer genetic testing, ask for copies of their test reports.
- Talk with your family members and make a list of questions and concerns that you want to discuss.
What to expect at your clinic visit
A genetic counselor, nurse and/or doctor will talk with you and your child about:
- Your child’s medical and family history
- What cancer screening tests are available
- Assistance with setting up screening tests
- Genetic testing
- How your child’s diagnosis affects you, your child and other family members
A doctor or nurse practitioner may also perform a physical exam.
What happens after your clinic visit
Your genetic counselor or nurse will:
- Review your child’s medical, treatment and family histories
- Discuss genetic testing for other family members (if needed)
- Share the results of any cancer screening tests that were done
- Create a care plan for your child and other family members (if needed)
- Refer you to a specialist in your community for care (if needed)
- Help you understand the Genetic Informational Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), a federal law that protects you against discrimination based on genetic information
Meet Your Cancer Predisposition
- Director, Cancer Predisposition Division
- Department of Cancer Predisposition Postdoctoral Fellow
- Shadowing Physician/Observer to Kim E. Nichols, MD
- Research Lab Specialist
- Graduate Student
- Administrative Specialist
- Project Coordinator
- Clinical Research Associate III
- Doctor of Nursing Practice/Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics
- Database Analyst
- Clinical Research Associate II
- Certified Genetic Counselor II
- Certified Genetic Counselor II
- Genetic Counselor
- Certified Genetic Counselor
- Bioinformatics Research Scientist
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Research Technologist
- Coordinator, Cancer Predisposition Program
- Senior Research Technologist
- Student Intern