Cancer screening services for children with hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes and other conditions that increase the risk of childhood cancer
The Childhood Cancer Prevention and Screening Clinic provides centralized cancer screening services for children with hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes and other conditions that increase the risk of childhood cancer.
Our pediatric oncologist develops and implements screening regimens adapted for each child based on the latest medical literature. Screenings consist of longitudinal assessments including interviews, physical exams, laboratory testing, and imaging.
With a dedicated staff, we provide the most effective and up-to-date screening methods available to children at risk of developing childhood cancer.
Our clinic providers saw over 80 new patients and over 300 established patients last year. Appointments are held most days of the week. In collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, the clinic also serves as a training site for both medical genetics residents and pediatric hematology-oncology fellows.
The mission of the Childhood Cancer Prevention and Screening Clinic at Texas Children’s Cancer Center is to ensure that children and adolescents at high risk for cancer or tumors have the best possible outcomes. We aim to do this in several ways:
We provide evidence-based screening services for early detection of tumors. This enables early treatment which may improve survival and/or diminish chronic medical problems due to the tumors and/or treatments.
We treat children who have developed tumors, making sure that their underlying genetic disorders (i.e., cancer predisposition syndromes) are appropriately considered in their treatment plans.
We emphasize patient- and family-centered care by addressing the psychosocial impacts of their diagnoses on our patients and their families.
We work closely with other members of the multi-specialty care teams for our patients, most of whom have complex medical disorders.
We help guide the transition of our patients to adult medical providers, when appropriate.
We participate in research studies to promote advances in the areas of childhood cancer prevention, screening, and treatment for highly susceptible children.
Our cancer screening practices are based on the best available medical information, adapted to the needs of each child. In addition to our desire to use the most effective screenings methods, we prioritize patient safety and minimizing patient discomfort and family stress in all of our recommendations. The methods are based on the latest medical evidence and are adapted to the needs of each child. In children whom we find pre-malignant lesions and tumors, these screenings are enabling early intervention and treatment, and ultimately are leading to improved survival and decreased treatment-related chronic health issues.
Screening plans may include a combination of medical interviews, physical exams, laboratory testing, imaging studies, and evaluations by other subspecialists. The other specialists with whom we collaborate have substantial experience with the syndromes and conditions affecting our patients and have expertise in performing the screening tests.
Screening results are shared promptly with families and with other relevant medical team members including primary care providers. We recognize the process of screening can be stressful for patients and their families, which is why psychology and social work support are critical components of our services.
We pride ourselves in partnering closely with referring physicians and families throughout the process to ensure they are fully informed about their patient’s care. Families interested in being seen in our clinic are encouraged to talk to their primary medical providers about a referral.
After the initial visit is completed, we will provide a letter to the referring provider summarizing the child’s cancer risks and our management plan. For children whom we continue to provide long-term cancer screening services, primary medical providers will receive ongoing status updates and recommendations on their patients.