Breast Cancer: A Wake-Up Call for Jewish Women
Breast cancer is a reality that many women have to face at some point in their lives. For Jewish women, however, the risk may be higher than previously thought. As a Jewish woman myself, I was shocked to learn that one in forty Ashkenazi women has the BRCA gene mutation, which significantly raises the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
The Importance of Early Detection
The recent change in mammogram guidelines has highlighted the need for early detection of breast cancer. Women in their 40s are now advised to get regular mammograms, as breast cancer is on the rise in younger women. This is due to various factors, including the aggressive nature of the cancer in premenopausal women.
As a breast cancer survivor, I know how crucial early detection is. My diagnosis came as a shock, as I had taken all the preventative measures. I had three children by the age of 35, breastfed them, had a healthy diet, exercised regularly, and did not smoke or drink. Yet, I still got cancer.
The Importance of Research
It’s essential to continue researching breast cancer in Jewish women. While the BRCA gene mutation is a known risk factor, not all Jewish women with breast cancer have this mutation. This suggests that other genetic or environmental factors may be at play.
As a community, we need to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and genetic testing. Jewish women should be encouraged to get mammograms regularly and consider genetic testing if they have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
The Silver Lining
While a breast cancer diagnosis is devastating, there can be a silver lining. My diagnosis prompted many of my friends to book mammograms and take their health seriously. Sharing my story on social media also allowed me to connect with other women who had gone through the same thing, providing invaluable support during a difficult time.
Breast cancer is a wake-up call for Jewish women. We need to be proactive about our health and take steps to reduce our risk. By raising awareness and supporting research, we can work towards a future where breast cancer is no longer a common threat to our community.
- Breast cancer support groups
- Jewish women’s health organizations
- Coping with breast cancer diagnosis
- Faith-based cancer support
- Survivor stories of breast cancer
News Source : Karen E. H. Skinazi
Source Link :When a breast cancer diagnosis knocked me down, a network of Jewish women lifted me up/