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Psychological Implications on Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancer Diagnosis in Children

Zachariah H Foda, M.D., Ph.D.- CGA-IGC Communications Committee

Learn more about the Psychological Implications of Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancer Diagnosis in Children in Children in our joint webinar with NASPGHAN.

In our third webinar of the 2024 series, in collaboration with NASPGHAN, Molly Gardner, PhD from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Kristin Zelley, MS, CGC from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, discuss the psychological impacts of Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancer Diagnosis in Children. The webinar started with a discussion of the psychosocial collaboration between genetic counselors and psychologists, highlighting the different strengths and areas of overlap. 

Kristin Zelley, a cancer genetic counselor working with children affected by hereditary GI cancer syndromes in the Hereditary Cancer Predisposition Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, covered issues related to the timing of testing of children. Topics covered include the current guidelines as well as what it means the be “in the best interest of the child”. She discussed the pre-test considerations needed in this population, ranging from age appropriateness to family history. She next used case discussions to cover the intricacies of helping individuals tested in various settings, including after a cancer diagnosis, in the predictive setting or found to have mutations incidentally in the work up of unrelated issues. 

Next, Dr. Gardner, a pediatric psychologist embedded in the Hereditary Polyposis Clinic and Nationwide Children’s shared valuable considerations for communicating with children and families in these situations. She stressed the importance of gauging understanding for families and that children often know more than they let on. She also shared the overall positive parental perception of childhood testing. She also covered the various emotional impacts that testing can have on all those involved, highlighting that while there can be some short-term negative consequences, the majority of the time, individuals have a positive emotional outcome.

Finally, the speakers shared resources that will be helpful for patients and providers. They also discussed the nuances of transition to adult care settings and wrapped up with questions from the audience. This webinar provides valuable information on how to help children and their families in the setting of hereditary GI Cancer syndrome diagnoses.

Many thanks to our wonderful speakers and moderators for their time! 

If you did not have the chance to join us or would like to view parts of it again, you can now watch it on-demand as a current CGA-IGC member. If you are not a member yet, you can join here.

Please join us for the next CGA-IGC webinar!


Our webinars are a valuable member benefit, and we encourage you to sign up as a member so you can join the live webinars and access our earlier webinar series on demand!

Also, looking for other educational resources? Toolkits? Podcasts?

If you enjoy webinars, you may like the CGA-IGC Podcast Series (Seasons 3, 4 &5) presented by the CGA-IGC Education Committee. Or explore our Expert Approach to Hereditary Gastrointestinal Cancers podcast series (Seasons 1 and 2).

We're also on Spotify! ___________________________________________________________________________________

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