When it comes to BRCA (BReast CAncer gene) testing, if you think it’s not for you, think again.

What are the BRCA genes? Who is at risk? Why get tested?

Hadassah Greater Atlanta will partner with Emory University’s JScreen program and Winship Cancer Institute on an educational program to answer these questions and introduce JScreen’s PEACH (Program for Evaluation of Ashkenazi Cancer Heritability) BRCA Study, which includes free testing. It will take place Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs.

Speakers include BRCA previvors Stacey Davis and Rochelle Schube (previvors are survivors of a predisposition to cancer, meaning they have a higher risk for developing a specific type(s) of cancer, but have not been diagnosed); Dr. Jane Meisel, assistant professor of hematology and medical oncology; Karen Arnovitz Grinzaid, JScreen executive director and assistant professor of human genetics.

Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews are at 10 times greater risk to have a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, regardless of their personal or family history of cancer. A BRCA mutation puts a person at higher risk for certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate. Anyone with a mutation also has a 50% chance of passing it down to each of his/her male and female children.

Schube, who carries a BRCA1 mutation, considered all of her options when she learned she was at high risk for cancer.

“It was not an easy decision to have surgery,” she said. “To some, it may seem like an extreme choice. For others, those who have experienced family member after family member being diagnosed with cancer, it’s a lifeline – an opportunity to take back some power and control in a seemingly powerless situation. I don’t want to disillusion anyone into thinking it’s a simple journey, it’s been tough, but it’s a decision that I’ll never regret.”

Attendees can not only find out more about BRCA but also see if they are eligible to participate in the study. The event is free but reservations are required. Register by visiting https://bit.ly/31cC9BX or calling 678-443-2961.

For more information on JScreen and the study, visit www.jscreen.org/brca. To learn more about what the Hadassah Medical Organization is doing for BRCA and breast cancer research, visit https://bit.ly/2zlSmu3.

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