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September 6, 2014 9:36 pm

Study Shows Jewish Women Have High Rates of Breast Cancer Even Without Family History

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A Women of the Wall prayer service. Photo: Women of the Wall.

New York Times – Women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent who tested positive for cancer-causing genetic mutations during random screenings have high rates of breast and ovarian cancer even when they have no family history of the disease, researchers reported Thursday.

The finding calls into question the practice of screening women — particularly women of Ashkenazi descent, as are most Jews in the United States — for these mutations only if they report that many women in their family have had cancer. Some women are tested for mutations only after they develop cancer themselves.

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