Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

US Task Force: Ashkenazi Jewish Women Should Test For Breast Cancer Genes

(JTA) — Ashkenazi Jewish women should be screened for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes linked to breast cancer.

That’s the recommendation by a U.S. task force announced in an editorial this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, compared with one in 300 people in the general population, according to studies.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force says that primary care doctors should assess women’s BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation risks) if their ancestry is prone to BRCA mutations, such as Ashkenazi Jewish women, and if they previously were treated for breast or ovarian cancer.

The editorial also said that “researchers are actively reporting higher BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation frequencies across diverse populations than previously realized.”

It also called for an increase in the number of cancer-specific genetic counselors in the United States.

The editorial was co-authored by Dr. Susan Domchek, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Mark Robson, a medical oncologist and chief of Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.