What We Should Know About BRCA

Breast cancer affects thousands of women worldwide every year. I had a mammogram and a follow up ultrasound last year at the age of 41. I had noticed a lump in my breast in 2010 that changed in size with my periods. I had an ultrasound then too. I have been told it is most likely fibrocystic breast disease. It has not changed but I have not had a biopsy done. Today, I had a rude awakening. I saw a link on Twitter to CDC.gov about a link between Ashkenazi descent and BRCA. I had never heard of this before. I had always been confident that I would be less likely to get breast cancer because it does not run in my family. Now that has changed. I didn’t know my paternal Eastern European Jewish descent put me at risk. Thank goodness I know my family history since I don’t know my exact genetics. My paternal grandfather was Jewish but my grandmother is Christian. My dad and I were raised as Christians. During and after the World Wars, many Jews converted and changed identities out of fear. Madeline Albright is a perfect example. She did not know she was of Jewish descent and was raised Catholic. In fact, my father didn’t know he was Jewish until he was in high school. I am not sure how this knowledge will apply to others but I thought I would share. Anything we can do proactively to improve and maintain our health is important. We owe it to our children.

BRCA Risk in Young Women


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