It is a Jewish imperative to keep our bodies healthy. This mandate extends to our children and loved ones in our extended communal family, and the Jewish Federation sees wellness as one of our communal priorities. Because of our shared heritage, Jews carry greater risk for certain genetic mutations and diseases. Federation is doing its part to educate and support our community around issues of health and wellness via symposiums, advocacy and resources.
One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries a BRCA gene mutation, nearly 10 times the rate of the general population, making Jewish families more susceptible to hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
We have brought together community experts on the BRCA mutations and their specific implications for the Ashkenazi Jewish community and its descendants. We have also compiled a list of Genetic Resources for your reference.
Knowledge is power, and education and awareness in this case can indeed be life-saving.
Chair, Your Jewish Genes and Cancer Symposium
Symposium highlights featuring key information
Panelists share breast and ovarian cancer experiences
Data on breast and ovarian cancer
Learn more about the Oregon Ovarian Cancer Registry
Genetic testing and what you need to know
Talking with your doctor about your cancer diagonosis
JScreen (www.jscreen.org) is a non-profit, public health initiative out of Emory University whose goal is to prevent Jewish genetic diseases by providing convenient, at-home, saliva-based genetic carrier screening, accessible anywhere in the United States. Screening is offered for the 19 Ashkenazi Jewish diseases using a saliva sample. There is also complimentary genetic counseling via telephone once the results are received.
Approximately 1 in 4 Ashkenazi Jews carry at least 1 of 19 disease genes that are common in this population, and approximately 76% of the young Jewish population has not been tested for these diseases. Interfaith couples are also at risk and should be screened.