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Cancer Predisposition Program

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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:


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

Genetic Syndromes We Treat

We offer confidential genetic counseling and testing for many conditions that can increase the risk for cancer. Some of these conditions are listed below:


English | Spanish

Beckwith-Wiedemann Spectrum and Isolated Lateralized Overgrowth
English | Spanish

Constitutional Mismatch Repair Deficiency Syndrome (CMMRD)
English | Spanish

DICER1 Syndrome
English | Spanish

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
English | Spanish

Familial Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) 
English | Spanish

Hereditary Multiple Osteochondromas
English | Spanish

Hereditary Neuroblastoma
English | Spanish

Hereditary Retinoblastoma
English | Spanish

Hereditary Paraganglioma-Pheochromocytoma Syndrome
English | Spanish

Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome
English | Spanish

Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome
English | Spanish

Li Fraumeni Syndrome
English | Spanish


Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1
English | Spanish

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2
English | Spanish

Neurofibromatosis Type 1
English | Spanish

Neurofibromatosis Type 2
English | Spanish

Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome
English | Spanish

Noonan Syndrome
English | Spanish

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome
English | Spanish

PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome
English | Spanish

Rhabdoid Tumor Predisposition Syndrome
English | Spanish

Von Hippel Lindau Syndrome
English | Spanish

WT1-Related Syndromes
English | Spanish

X-linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
English | Spanish


Meet Your Cancer Predisposition
Treatment Team

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