Genetic Testing & Counseling - New Service at Regional HCA Virginia Hospitals
July 08, 2010
Salem, Virginia, July 8, 2010 – HCA Virginia Health System has announced the opening of its new Department of Clinical Genetics which will offer genetic counseling for patients at all four of its hospitals (Lewis-Gale, Montgomery Regional, Pulaski Community and Alleghany Regional Hospitals).
Kara Bui, a Certified Genetic Counselor, will head up the new department providing genetic testing and counseling for a variety of cancers including breast, colon, ovarian, uterine, pancreatic, and melanoma.
The Department of Clinical Genetics will soon provide maternal-fetal counseling as well for common genetic disorders including Down syndrome, sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.
“If we know a patient’s risk level we can use that information to help them prevent cancer and take advantage of the appropriate screening options based on his or her risk level,” said Bui, who has provided genetic counseling services in the Roanoke Valley for more than six years. “We will offer a personalized, compassionate approach to help patients deal with both the technical and emotional aspects of their cancer risk.”
For example, a patient diagnosed with a mutation in the gene BRCA1 or BRCA2 has up to a 60 to 87 percent lifetime risk for developing breast cancer and up to a 44 percent risk for developing ovarian cancer. Armed with this information, the patient may benefit from adding breast MRI to her yearly breast cancer screening routine, and/or taking chemoprevention or considering risk-reducing surgery.
“I am confident genetic counseling will be an invaluable new service for our patients by empowering them with information to make critical life-changing decisions about their healthcare,” said Victor E. Giovanetti, FACHE, President of HCA Southwest Virginia. “Human genetics is a growing field and we plan to stay on the forefront of the latest developments to provide our patients an exceptional level of care.”
About 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are hereditary. The risk of an inherited cancer is more likely if:
- Patient or close family member diagnosed with cancer at an unusually young age, such as breast, colon or uterine cancer under the age of 50
- Three or more close family members with same cancer or related cancers
- Patient or close family member with more than one new cancer in a lifetime
- Family history of rare tumors or uncommon cancers, such as male breast cancer
- Greater than 5-10 colon polyps
While genetic counseling will be offered on site at each of the four hospitals, Bui’s home office will be based at Lewis-Gale Medical Center. Patients who would like additional information can call 540-776-4963.
About HCA Southwest Virginia
HCA Virginia is a network of locally managed hospitals, surgery centers, outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities, and physician practices in Central, Southwestern, and Northern Virginia. HCA Virginia has 10,000 full-time employees statewide. Each year it provides approximately $100 million in free care to the uninsured, pays $100 million in taxes and donate monies to dozens of non-profit organizations and causes. In Southwest Virginia, HCA Virginia includes Lewis-Gale Medical Center, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital, Pulaski Community Hospital, several outpatient centers and hundreds of partnering physicians. All four hospitals consistently rank in the top 10 percent of all U.S. hospitals and in the top 10 in the state for quality care, including health outcomes, patient safety and patient satisfaction. For more information see www.HCAVirginia.com.
Joy Sutton, Marketing Communications Mgr.
HCA Virginia – Southwest Market
Nancy May, VP Marketing & PR
HCA Virginia – Southwest Market
(540) 776-4754 or (540) 537-3475
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