Know your risk factors

Know your risk factors

It was wonderful to read the short mention of the need for BRCA screening in women of Ashkenazi descent (Kolbo, “BRCA screenings advised,” Aug. 29). My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018 and we learned that he had the BRCA2 mutation. We did not even know that men could have the BRCA mutation, and had no knowledge of the link between BRCA and pancreatic cancer.

This mutation increases the risk of many cancers, not just female ones. It increases the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancer. The mutation is rampant in the Jewish community and most do not know about their health risks.

One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carry the mutation. Members of our extended family are getting tested and it is shocking how many are testing positive; two have already had risk reduction surgery. 

Significant studies are being done on BRCA mutation in the Ashkenazi community and more treatment options are available due to this research. Talk to the research doctors at leading cancer centers. NJJN should educate the Jewish community about this.

Ivy Cohen Hausman
South Orange

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