By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)--Nearly 1 in 40 American Jews of Eastern European descent carries the BRCA 1 and 2 mutation which increases the risk of certain cancers, including breast and ovarian.

Dr. Susan Domchek, Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Research Center says that’s 10-times the risk as in the general population.

Domchek says, “We have always assumed this is well known in the Jewish community, but we did some focus groups earlier this year and we were surprised although people knew a lot about Tay-Sachs a lot less was known about BRCA 1 and 2 than we assumed.”

She says knowing you have the gene can help carriers make informed and possibly life saving decisions.

The meeting begins Sunday, October 6th at 10:30am at Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 North Broad Street.

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