On October 18 2014, my oncologist, Dr. Mohamed gave an excellent, very informative presentation that I attended on the risk of BRCA gene mutation of the Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Here listed, are some facts that I gathered from different websites that I thought was important to share with the Ashkenazi community.
Know your family history, know your risk
- Individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (descendants from Eastern and Central Europe) have a 1 in 40 chance of carrying a BRCA gene mutation. This is at least a ten times greater probability than that of the general population.
- Women who carry mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer and up to a 45% risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- The chance that breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers are associated with BRCA mutations is highest in families
with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, multiple cases of breast cancer, women with both breast and ovarian cancer,
breast cancer under age 50, individuals with two or more cancers, male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer or ovarian cancer at any age.
- BRCA mutations are also associated with increased risk of fallopian tube, primary peritoneal (abdominal lining), pancreatic, melanoma, male breast and prostate cancers.
- Men who carry BRCA mutations also have increased cancer risks.
- Men can also carry and pass these gene mutations on to their family, and also have increased cancer risk.
- If a mother or father carries a BRCA gene mutation, there is a 50% chance of passing it on to each child.
"Instead of Ashkenazi women being tested for the two defective BRCA genes only if a close blood relative contracted breast or ovarian cancer, a research team headed by Shaare Zedek Medical Center Prof. Ephrat Levy-Lahad recommends that all women of Ashkenazi origin be screened for the genetic mutations from age 30." http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Health/Israeli-research-team-Screen-all-Ashkenazi-Jewish-women-for-BRCA-mutations-374551 (Click link to story)
|Melissa Paskvan and Dr. Mohamed|