Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program

Cancer affects one in every 700 children. And we now know that at least 10 percent of childhood cancers are due to an inherited gene change.

The Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh works hard to:

  • Understand the hereditary factors that play a role in childhood cancers.
  • Improve the care for children with a genetic risk of cancer.

We're the only program in western Pennsylvania focused solely on childhood cancer risk.

Childhood Cancer Risk Services

Our program does:

  • Family history assessments.
  • Genetic testing and counseling.
  • Complete plans for managing cancer risks with ongoing follow-ups.

Our clinic:

  • Helps parents know their options for genetic testing.
  • Supports parents when deciding if they should pursue genetic testing of their children. And if so, we can suggest the best timing for testing.
  • Provides thorough genetic testing to learn your child's risk for inherited cancer syndromes.
  • Helps families understand what the test results might mean for their child and family members.
  • Teaches children about genetic testing and what the results might mean for them.
  • Guides parents on how to talk to kids and other family members about hereditary cancer. We offer tips on when to have these talks and what information you might want to share.
  • Counsels families to help them cope with a child's genetic cancer diagnosis.

We follow proven guidelines or create our own tailored plans to watch for the earliest signs of cancer. We'll help you understand the monitoring plan and how often it should occur.

We can also connect you to other specialists as needed.

Adult family members may choose to visit the UPMC Hereditary Cancer Genetics Program. Our programs work closely together, allowing us to offer complete care for kids and their families.

The Children's Cancer Predisposition Program Team

Diagnosing and treating children with a cancer predisposition syndrome requires an expert care team.

Our team includes pediatric:

  • Cancer doctors
  • Nurses
  • Child life specialists
  • Therapists
  • A certified genetic counselor

Your child's visit to our clinic includes time with a cancer doctor and genetic counselor. Both have deep knowledge of inherited cancer syndromes that affect children.

Our team makes an ongoing effort to improve care for kids who have a genetic risk for cancer or tumors.

Pediatric Cancer Predisposition Program Referral and Contact Information 

We offer in-person appointments at UPMC Children’s Hospital’s main campus in Lawrenceville. We also offer video appointments. Families may self-refer or have their doctor refer them.

Call us at 412-692-5055 to learn more.