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FOR RELEASE: 4/19/2012Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Bridgeport Hospital teams with Yale Cancer Center to offer genetic counseling

The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital is partnering with Yale Cancer Center to provide genetic counseling services in the Greater Bridgeport community.

Certified genetic counselor Rachel Barnett sees patients at the Cancer Institute’s Park Avenue campus in Trumbull, where a number of other cancer-related services are also provided. Appointments are available on Wednesdays, May 2, June 6, July 18, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10.

For information about the Yale Genetic Counseling Program in Trumbull, or to make an appointment, please call 203-764-8400.

“We are hopeful that the Trumbull site, which is just off Merritt Parkway Exit 47, will serve as a convenient location for patients to receive high quality genetic counseling from a certified genetic counselor without traveling to New Haven,” says Patient Care Services Director Peg Parniawski, who oversees the Cancer Institute.

The Cancer Institute’s Park Avenue campus will also be the future home of Bridgeport Hospital’s Radiation Oncology Center. The Center is in the final phases of construction and expected to open later this year.

The Yale Cancer Center Cancer Genetic Counseling Program provides genetic counseling and testing to people at increased risk for hereditary cancer and helps them to make informed medical decisions based on their own personal risk assessment. These interventions can have a huge impact on a person's life by allowing them to better manage their health and reduce their risk of ever developing cancer.

“The cancer genetic testing process requires only a sample of blood but the decision about what tests to order and how to interpret and apply the results can be quite complex,” says Robert Folman, MD, Co-Medical Director of the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute. “It is due to this complexity that people interested in pursuing cancer genetic counseling should see a cancer genetics specialist.”

People who can benefit from genetic counseling include those who have:

• Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with the same cancer or potentially related cancers (breast, ovary, uterus, pancreas, prostate, colon)

• Cancer at an unusually early age

• More than one diagnosis of cancer

• Rare cancers

• A family history of a known altered cancer-predisposing gene

The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center continues to perform genetic risk assessments for breast and ovarian cancer at its sites in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Trumbull.

The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital provides care to more than 1,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, a greater number than any other hospital in Fairfield County. The hospital is a member of the Yale-New Haven Cancer Network, an alliance of hospitals across Connecticut that provides access to the latest breakthroughs and delivers an unparalleled level of expertise in cancer, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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Bridgeport Hospital is a member of Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive integrated health care delivery system in Connecticut. Yale New Haven Health System is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the populations it serves. Yale New Haven Health System's service area covers portions of eastern New York, the state of Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island. Yale New Haven Health System is committed to making the best health care easier to use.