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Cancer Predisposition Clinic FAQs

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing examines the genes (the DNA code) that you inherit from your mother and your father. Genetic testing looks for changes in genes called "mutations."

What is cancer predisposition?

Cancer predisposition is an increased chance of getting cancer due to a change or mutation in the genes of the normal cells in the body. It can be inherited from your parents or it can randomly happen.

Why perform genetic testing on my child's tumor?

Most tumors have genetic mutations that are only present in the tumor, not in the rest of the body. Testing the genes in a tumor can help your oncologist diagnose the type of cancer and develop a treatment plan.

Why is my child being referred to the Cancer Predisposition Clinic?

Testing of your child's tumor indicated that one or more mutations seen in the tumor might also be present in the normal cells in the body. The results of this tumor test cannot tell us for sure if your child has a mutation in the normal cells of the body. Your child may require additional genetic testing.

Is this the reason that my child developed cancer?

These results may or may not explain why your child developed cancer.

What are the next steps?

We recommend a visit with the Cancer Predisposition Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to discuss the results of the tumor testing, and determine if additional testing is needed. Our team will contact you by phone to set up this visit.

Does my child have to be tested?

No. Genetic testing is optional. We recommend the consultation so that you can discuss the risks and benefits of genetic testing to make an informed decision about your child.

What is the cost?

The cost of this consultation will be covered by your insurance. The cost of genetic testing depends on your insurance coverage. We will discuss the details with you before the visit or at the visit, and will not send any testing without your consent.

Does this affect other family members?

If we find a mutation in your child, other family members might have the mutation. We will discuss the need for testing other family members, including parents and siblings at your clinic visit.

If a mutation is found, does this affect our health insurance?

There are legal protections for you and your family if a mutation is found. We will discuss this in detail at your clinic visit. There is no effect on your health insurance coverage for being referred to the Cancer Predisposition Clinic.

For scheduling a visit or questions about the referral, please contact (215) 590-9399 or [email protected]. Refer to the oncology clinic for any urgent questions. Allow 24 hours for a response.


Reviewed on April 1, 2022, by Suzanne MacFarland, MD

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