Jews Against Cancer of the Breast

The Justice and Peace Newsletter of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
By David Cohen-Cutler, Summer 2006.

Jacob International, which stands for Jews Against Cancer of the Breast, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Ashkenazi Jews about their hereditary predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. The goal is to break the cycle of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer by advancing education, genetic testing and preventive treatment.

One in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women carries a mutation in her genes that leads to a 33-50% risk of developing breast cancer by age 50 and 56-87% by age 70. Also, those with this mutation have a 27-44% chance of developing ovarian cancer by age 70. Today a simple blood test can identify such a mutation.

"This information can be very vital to your health care as you can reduce your risk by up to 96% with appropriate medical intervention," said Laurie Sklar, Chair of the Kantor Family Center for Justice at Congregation B'nai Israel in Boca Raton and founding member of Jacob International.

Jacob International has a speakers bureau, educational materials and Jewish resources to help families deal with cancer. However the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for organizations like Jacob International. Through education, research arid funding, this goal will be achieved.

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