The Pediatric Cancer Genetics Clinic at Children’s of Alabama provides cancer and genetic risk assessments for children, recommendations for managing cancer risk, as well as education and emotional support for families affected by hereditary cancer syndromes.

We are dedicated to continually working to find missing pieces in the cancer genetics story. We want to help determine whether your children are at risk for or have a hereditary explanation for their cancer, and if so, what can be done to prevent future cancers or address it as soon as possible.

Overview

We are committed to helping you manage all aspects of a genetic cancer risk. An appointment will consist of time with a geneticist and a genetic counselor, both of whom have knowledge in inherited cancer syndromes that may affect children.

We are able to:

  • Help parents make decisions about genetic testing of their children

  • Offer genetic testing, if appropriate, to determine risk for hereditary cancer conditions

  • Communicate the impact of genetic test results for children and other at-risk relatives

  • Discuss appropriate measures to monitor for early signs of cancer and reduce cancer risks

  • Talk with your children to help them understand genetic testing and what the results may mean for them

  • Offer support to help families cope with the stress of a hereditary cancer diagnosis

How Our Clinic Works

Genetic counselors are individuals with specialized training in both genetics and counseling. They work with families to evaluate medical and family history to assess the risk of cancer occurrence, educate regarding testing options and management, and counsel to promote informed decision making. To learn more about genetic counseling, visit www.nsgc.org

Your appointment will consist of discussing your family history and cancer diagnoses, explaining genetics information and how some cancers may be seen within families, appropriate testing options, applicable referrals, and an evaluation by our geneticist.

Meet Our Team

Elizabeth Alva, M.D., MSPH

Elizabeth Alva, M.D., MSPH

Dr. Alva is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine.  She completed her pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Colorado and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training at Children’s of Alabama.  While completing her fellowship, she obtained a Masters in Science and Public Health in Clinical and Translational Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Dr. Alva is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology. 

Meagan Farmer, MS, CGC

Meagan Farmer, MS, CGC

Meagan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Genetic Counseling Training Program and completed a Cancer Genetic Counseling Fellowship at Yale. She is the Director of Cancer Genetic Counseling, as well as an instructor and clinical supervisor for the UAB Genetic Counseling Training Program. She also serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network panel for breast and ovarian cancer.

Nathaniel H. Robin, M.D.

Nathaniel H. Robin, M.D.

Dr. Robin is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and Pediatrics. He completed his medical degree and pediatric residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.  He was a clinical and research fellow in the Division of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology and the Division of Biochemical Genetics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the director of the genetics residency programs, and supervises all medical educational activities of the department. Dr. Robin is board certified by the American Board of Genetics and Genetics and Genomics in Clinical Genetics.

Clinic Time

3rd Wednesday morning of each month.

*Other appointments available by special requests.

How to Make Appointments

To make an appointment for this clinic, please call 205.934.4983.

Referrals

A genetic counseling appointment could be helpful for your child and family if there is a presence of any of the following, but not limited to:

  • Cancers occurring early in childhood

  • Multiple cancers in an individual

  • Bilateral or multifocal cancers

  • Same type of cancer in close relatives

  • Cancer occurring in multiple generations

  • Occurrence of rare tumors

*Physicians: Please use the fax referral form below.

Clinic Location

We are located on the 6th Floor of the Dearth Tower in the McWane Building at Children’s of Alabama.

Download the Children's of Alabama Visitor's guide

Parking:

The parking deck is located on 7th Avenue, across the street from the front of hospital. You will receive a parking ticket upon entrance. Please bring this ticket with you for validation after your appointment.

After entering the building at the intersection of 16th Street and 7th Avenue, follow the “blue river” on the floor to the left to the elevators. Take the elevator to the 6th floor. Turn right and follow the signs labeled “Genetics Clinic.”

Resources

Children’s of Alabama, Hope and Cope Psychosocial Programs

Children’s of Alabama, Hope and Cope Psychosocial Programs

Support and services geared towards emotional health and well-being.

Learn more


National Cancer Institute

National Cancer Institute

“Credible, current, comprehensive information about cancer prevention and screening, diagnosis and treatment, research across the cancer spectrum, clinical trials, and news and links to other NCI websites.” 

Learn more


National Society of Genetic Counselors

National Society of Genetic Counselors

Learn more about who are genetic counselors and how they fit in the healthcare team.

Learn more


Camp Smile-A-Mile

Camp Smile-A-Mile

Hosts seven annual summer camp sessions tailored for patients, siblings, and families, as well as year round Hospital Outreach Programs.

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Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

“Provides a warm, comfortable place to stay for families of critically injured or seriously ill children who are hospitalized or receiving treatment from any of the Birmingham area medical facilities or offices.” Learn more about eligibility and accommodations at link below.

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Monkey in My Chair

Monkey in My Chair

Program for preschool and elementary age school children who are away from school due to a cancer diagnosis. At no cost, each child receives a stuffed monkey to take their place when they are unable to attend, along with a book for teachers to share the situation with classmates. Learn more about requirements and how to request a “Monkey Kit” at link below

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