• African Americans should test for the BRCA mutations

    Asked by Carool on Thursday, October 17, 2019

    African Americans should test for the BRCA mutations

    This was in the NY Times. I always knew that Ashkenazi Jews are more prone than are other groups to having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations (I was tested after my dx. I don’t have either mutation). Good info here:

    Beyoncé’s Dad Has a Mutation More African-Americans Should Be Tested For
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/opinion/beyonce-father-breast-cancer.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      This is good for different ethnicities to know. Most of us have something that we are susceptible to. Thanks for posting.

      29 days ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      Hi Carool, I have a BRCA gene. I'm Jewish (not raised in the faith) I don't have 1 or 2 and I'm not Ashkenazi. The one I have "they" don't know anything about ... but they'll contact me in the future when they figure it out. I think everyone needs to be tested because they will help scientists figure out the connection between all BRCA genes and cancer, and that may lead to gene therapy so they an anticipate or treat early.

      29 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Thank you, Greg. I agree.

      29 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Fiddler, thank you. I agree about the need for testing. Unfortunately, this test is expensive (or was back when I had it). I was able to get into a study at MSK so I paid nothing.

      I was told then (19 or so years ago) that my not having the BRCA mutations didn’t mean I didn’t have other mutations that couldn’t at that time be tested for. Different from what you were told, of course.

      29 days ago
    • Dawsonsmom's Avatar
      Dawsonsmom (Best Answer!)

      Carol, you are right about testing being expensive. However, my sister tested after her daughter tested positive for BRCA1. My sister was also positive and the lab she used, Invitae, offered free testing to any family member who tested within 90 days of my sister. My brother, his 2 daughters and I all tested for free. And, btw, it was because I was BRCA1+ that my breast cancer was caught so early. Never showed up on mammogram but was seen on 1st MRI, which is standard screening with BRCA.

      29 days ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Everyone, of whatever ethnicity, has the BRCA gene! What the test is for is two mutations (BRCA-1 & 2) of that gene, plus the PALB-2 and Chek-2 mutations. These, primarily the BRCA mutations, are commonest in Ashkenazi (northern, central & eastern European) Jews--if you are Jewish and not Sephardic or Mizrahi, your heritage is at least partly Ashkenazi; rural French Canadian; and Cajun--all ethnic groups that until the 20th century did not intermarry with other ethnicities. It's not unreasonable to assume that because interracial marriage was less common before the mid-20th century, these gene mutations might also appear in African-Americans.

      I'm almost 100% Ashkenazi, but I tested negative and none of my relatives or forebears had breast or the other cancers related to the mutations.

      29 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Dawsonsmom, I’m so glad that the BRCA-mutations test resulted in your finding a very early breast cancer. Hugs -

      26 days ago
    • Dawsonsmom's Avatar
      Dawsonsmom

      Carol, thanks!! Me too. I feel so very fortunate!

      26 days ago
    • Dawsonsmom's Avatar
      Dawsonsmom

      Carool, this stupid autocorrect wants to change your name!!

      26 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Dawsonsmom, you showed it who’s boss! Between you and me, I loathe Autocorrect.

      26 days ago

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