In the U.S., breast cancer risk is slightly higher among Jewish women than among other women .
This increased risk is likely due to the high prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) gene mutations in Jewish women of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews).
BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) are the most well-known genes linked to breast cancer risk.
BRCA1/2 mutations can be passed to you from either parent and can affect the risk of cancers in both women and men.
BRCA1/2 mutations are rare in the general population. In the U.S., about 1 in 400 people in the general population have a BRCA1/2 mutation .
However, prevalence varies by ethnic group. Among Ashkenazi Jewish men and women, about 1 in 40 have a BRCA1/2 mutation .
About 10 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. have a BRCA1/2 mutation .
Women who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer [27-30].
By age 70 [3,27,29-30]:
This means in a group of 100 women without a BRCA1/2 mutation, about 8 will develop breast cancer by age 70. While in a group of 100 women with a BRCA1/2 mutation, about 45-65 will develop breast cancer by age 70.
These numbers are averages, so the risk for an individual woman with a BRCA1/2 mutation may fall outside this range.
Learn about BRCA1/2 mutations and breast cancer risk in men.
Learn more about gene mutations and breast cancer risk in women.
Learn about testing for gene mutations.
Learn about breast cancer screening and risk-lowering options for women at higher risk.
It's important to discuss your family history of breast cancer and other health conditions with your health care provider. This information helps your provider understand your risk of breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen®'s My Family Health History Tool
Our Support section offers a list of resources to help find local and online support groups for people with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and those with BRCA1/2-related cancer.
For example, FORCE is an organization with online support for women with hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.
Sharsheret has online support for Jewish women with hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.
SUSAN G. KOMEN® SUPPORT RESOURCES