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The Problem

In the Jewish community, 1 in 40 people have one of three specific faults in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which leads to an increased risk of ovarian, breast and prostate cancer. This compares to 1 in 500 people in the general population having a fault in one of these genes.

Until now, testing for these faults in BRCA1 and BRCA2 has been offered to Jewish people with a personal or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer through genetic clinics. However, many Jewish people who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 fault do not have or are unaware of a family history of cancer, especially if they have small families.

BRCA screening program

This BRCA testing program enables all eligible members of the Jewish community to be tested for these three faults. This community BRCA testing program is currently being carried out as a research study. This testing is being offered to all eligible Jewish people for free, irrespective of a known family history of cancer. Both men and women are welcome to participate in the study.

All information about the research study and genetic test will be provided to you at an information session, presented by a genetic counsellor. DNA will be collected through a cheek swab. This can be done immediately after the information session, or you can take the DNA collection kit home and mail it back to us. More information about the upcoming information sessions will be advised shortly. If you are interested in attending a session:

express your interest here You will be contacted as future events are scheduled
 

You are eligible to participate in this study if you

  • Are 18 years or over
  • Have at least one Jewish grandparent
  • Live in Melbourne
  • Have not previously undergone BRCA testing
  • Are not aware of any family members being identified as having a BRCA fault
  • Have not been diagnosed with cancer within the last 12 months (other than non-melanoma skin cancer)

What is involved?

  1. Attend a community presentation about BRCA testing
  2. Complete a questionnaire after the presentation
  3. Sign a consent form to undergo the genetic test, if you choose to do so
  4. Provide a DNA cheek swab sample – you can do this immediately after the presentation or take home a DNA collection kit and mail it back
  5. You will be provided with results either by email or phone
  6. Complete up to 3 online questionnaires (depending on your test result)

If you are not eligible but are still interested in undergoing testing, please contact our study coordinator to discuss your options.

Contact

Study Coordinator – Jane Tiller

Phone Number – (03) 9936 6622

Email – jane.tiller@vcgs.org.au