Know Your Risk: UMCP Breast Health Center to Host Seminar on Genetic Counseling

Oct 13, 2011

Professional golfer and Golf Channel commentator Val Skinner will headline a special event Monday, October 17, to inform area residents about the genetic counseling services now available at University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) and the UMCP Breast Health Center.

Genetic counseling, available to people at increased risk of breast, colon, ovarian or uterine cancers, is provided through a collaboration with the LIFE Center at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).

People can be referred to UMCP or the Breast Health Center by a physician or they can make an appointment themselves. They are seen by a CINJ genetic counselor, who will discuss medical and family history and may recommend blood testing to determine the presence of a specific gene mutation. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to discuss results and options.

"Certain cancers can have specific genetic links," said Beth Krefski, RN, MSN, Director of UMCP's Breast Health Center. "The services we're able to provide help people to understand their risk and decide on a course of action."

Monday's event begins at 6:15 p.m. at the Breast Health Center, 300B Princeton-Hightstown Road, East Windsor Medical Commons 2, East Windsor.

The evening opens with a half-hour "meet and greet" featuring Skinner, a veteran of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and a driving force behind the creation of the LIFE Center at CINJ. Skinner had established a foundation to support breast cancer treatment and prevention programs after losing a close friend to the disease. ["LIFE" stands for LPGA pros In the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer.]

Following the "meet and greet," LIFE Center Director Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, will lead a seminar, along with Justin Leighton, a genetic counselor at CINJ's Hereditary Oncology Prevention and Evaluation (HOPE) Program. Dr. Toppmeyer is also Director of the Stacy Goldstein Breast Center and Chief of Solid Tumor Oncology at CINJ and an assistant professor of medicine at UDMNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Attendance is free. Please register by phone at (888) 897-8979 or online at

Genetic counseling is available on designated days each month at the main UMCP campus, 253 Witherspoon St., Princeton, and at the Breast Health Center in East Windsor. To request an appointment, or for more information, call the Breast Health Center at (609) 688-2700.