Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment

Although most cancers and blood diseases do not develop because of an underlying familial tendency, in a small but important percentage of cases, we are able to identify an underlying genetic alteration that may contribute to the disorder.

We have genetic counselors on staff that can review pertinent family history, assist the family in deciding if genetic testing in indicated, and provide interpretation of results.  We also work with physicians in cases where identification of a genetic alteration can guide interventions to reduce risk.

We provide a monthly screening clinic where we follow children who may have a genetic risk for cancer.  Depending on the syndrome involved and the extent of risk, children are seen at defined intervals, often every three to six months for appropriate screening studies.

Some of the syndromes that we diagnose and follow in our pediatric oncology clinic at University Hospital include, but are not limited to:

  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome
  • Simpson-Golabi-Behmel Syndrome
  • Hemihypertrophy
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Coli
  • Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (Breast Sarcoma Family Cancer Syndrome)
  • Von Hippel Lindau Syndrome
  • Cowden Syndrome
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
  • Paraganglioma/Pheochromocytoma and other neuroendrine cancer syndromes.
  • Familial Retinoblastoma
  • Familial Wilms tumor

In addition to our children’s program in cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling, we also provide services for adults who may be at high risk of cancer. These services are provided in conjunction with UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center. We also provide outreach cancer genetic counseling to the border region of South Texas.