Hereditary Cancer Risk

  • Jennifer E. Axilbund
  • Beth N. Peshkin
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


The elucidation of the sequence of the human genome promises to usher in a new era of medicine that will result in improved diagnosis and identification of individuals at risk for hereditary conditions. In this chapter, we focus on genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk in children and families and how such testing impacts the management of children with a diagnosis of cancer or who are at risk for cancer. We provide descriptions of the major hereditary cancers and cancer syndromes affecting children, as well as cancer predisposition syndromes that occur primarily in adulthood, but for which testing in minors has been raised as consideration. The impact on children’s medical management will be reviewed, as well as data on the psychosocial effects of testing. It is important to note that a hallmark feature of an inherited predisposition to cancer is that affected individuals are usually at high risk of developing more than one type of malignancy; thus, screening and risk reduction guidelines are often targeted to more than one site or system. Because of the potential for considerable morbidity and mortality arising from hereditary cancers, the psychosocial impact may be significant for the individual and family.


Genetic Testing Down Syndrome Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Fanconi Anemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer E. Axilbund
    • 1
  • Beth N. Peshkin
    • 2
  1. 1.Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Georgetown University Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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