This webinar was presented to parent groups in the BC Jewish community on April 12th 2021. Event description: “Many of us are not aware of our Jewish roots that put us and our families at greater risk of several genetically-driven cancers. Join us to learn about the BRCA genes, which affect 1 in 40 people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and increase the risk of early onset and aggressive cancers. During this hour, we will talk about options for testing, cancer prevention and how to discuss this difficult issue with your children and other family members. This event will feature personal stories from community members and Q and A with members of the BC Cancer Agency’s Hereditary Cancer Program and a special presentation by Dr. Lesa Dawson on BC’s new Survivorship Clinic.”
Please find the link to the recording here: https://youtu.be/zrJRHGjAx44
Population BRCA testing in Ashkenazi Jews reduces anxiety and does not adversely affect psychological health or quality of life.
Manchanda R, Burnell M, Gaba F, Desai R, Wardle J, Gessler S, Side L, Sanderson S, Loggenberg K, Brady AF, Dorkins H, Wallis Y, Chapman C, Jacobs C, Legood R, Beller U, Tomlinson I, Menon U, Jacobs I. Randomised trial of population-based BRCA testing in Ashkenazi Jews: longterm outcomes. BJOG 2020;127:364–375.
A recent article was featured in the Fall edition of the Journal of Family Practice Oncology, written by two of our own BRCAinBC committee members – Allison Mindlin, Genetic Counsellor, BC Cancer Hereditary Cancer Program and Dr. Rona Cheifetz, Medical Lead, Hereditary High Risk Clinic, BC Cancer. We are very proud of the hard work of all members of our committee, who continue to work diligently to spread awareness of the importance of BRCA gene testing for the Ashkenazi Jewish population here in BC.
Please find the fully linked article here: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/family-oncology-network-site/Documents/2020FallFPONjournal_Sep14web.pdf
Today marks the launch of The Screen Project Phase II! The Screen Project is a Canadian National initiative to make BRCA1 & BRCA2 screening available to all Canadians over 18 years of age at an accessible price. As part of The Screen Project, you will also help their team of researchers at the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit of Women’s College Hospital evaluate the benefits of population-based genetic testing. The hope that is that this study will reduce the mortality from breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.
The Screen Project provides accessible testing to high quality, timely and affordable genetic testing to all Canadians, regardless of family history of cancer. The testing costs $250 and is conducted by Invitae, a reputable lab based in the United States, which is significantly more affordable than comparable genetic testing services. You also have the benefit of knowing that your results will help inform the future of genetic testing in Canada.
We hope that this great project will act as a resource to the members of our BC Ashkenazi Jewish community who are interested in genetic testing but may not currently qualify for BC’s Hereditary Cancer Program.
For more details, please check out The Screen Project’s updated website: www.thescreenproject.ca.
Sometimes Jewish women with strong family histories of cancer test negative for BRCA. This great article talks about why testing negative doesn’t always put you in the clear for genetic cancers. Learn more below!
Mathew Knowles is a music executive and the father of two highly successful powerhouses in the music industry, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Solange Knowles. He recently announced he is battling stage IA breast cancer in an interview with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan. In this first-person account, Knowles shares his story on coming to terms with his diagnosis, thoughts on the stigmas attached to male breast cancer and his hopes that his account will inspire more men to speak out.
More women than ever are being encouraged to undergo screening for BRCA gene mutations, based on newly announced U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. The task force’s major recommendations are:
• All women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent should undergo testing to see if they have the genetic mutation.
• Women who have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian or tubal cancer in the past and who have completed treatment also should be tested, even if their physicians say they are currently cancer free.
The previous task force recommendations, issued in 2013, called for screening only women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer.
Following a Queen Mary University of London study, researchers are calling for population wide BRCA testing in the Jewish community after finding it to be more effective than current approaches, cost effective and had a high satisfaction rate with those undergoing testing.