The Benefits of Genetic Testing in the Jewish Community

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The Benefits of Genetic Testing in the Jewish Community 

An inherited mutation of the BRCA genes increases an individual’s chance of getting cancer at some point in their lives. Women carrying these mutations have a 45% to 65% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime and a 15% to 45% chance of getting ovarian cancer. While it is rare, men who carry these mutations also have a risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer.

The Ashkenazi Jewish population is known to contain a particularly high number of mutation-carriers; about 1 in 40 carry BRCA mutations, compared to 1 in 800 in the general population.

Family history of breast or ovarian cancer is known as a crucial marker for cancer as the BRCA gene can be inherited from either parent. Individuals with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancers can be tested to see if they carry these mutations. Criteria for testing include assessment of how many relations developed cancer before certain ages, and how closely related they are.

Research by the Women’s Cancer Department at University College London found that in their study of 1168 participants, more than half (56%) the people carrying a gene mutation identified through the population testing would not have been identified through family history based screening.

Conclusions from their research found that if 71% of the 114,400 eligible women were tested, there would be 276 fewer cases of ovarian cancer and 508 fewer breast cancers in this group.


Join American Friends of Rabin Medical Center for the seventh annual Cheryl Diamond NYC 5K SCHLEP: Breast & Ovarian Cancer Run / Walk on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at Battery Park, NYC.

This vital event raises global awareness for BRCA genetic screening for breast & ovarian cancer, benefits global research studies on breast and ovarian cancer cures, and BRCA mutation carriers and benefits the BRCA Multidisciplinary Clinic at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center, the premier hospital in the Middle East.

Run / Walk TODAY! Register here:



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