Subsidized Genetic Counseling & Carrier Screening Program
Approximately 1 in 4 Jews carry a genetic mutation for an autosomal recessive disorder that could be passed down to future offspring. Given the higher odds of Jews carrying a genetic mutation for a genetic condition, all individuals of Jewish descent should be offered carrier screening as part of family planning. The Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics offers an affordable, accessible carrier screening program that screens for more than 260 recessive conditions, including 50 that are more common among Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews. Most participants complete the program from home, including an online education course and genetic counseling via phone.
Learn more about how our carrier screening program can help your patients.
BRCA Mutations and other Cancer Predisposition Genes
1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which increases the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, male breast cancer, prostate cancer and other malignancies. BRCA genes are found in both men and women and can be passed down to children from both mothers and fathers at equal rates. Learn more about BRCA mutations and the Jewish community.
Ashkenazi Jews also have higher rates of colon cancer than any other ethnic group. The mutations associated with these syndromes are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means affected individuals have a 50% chance of passing on the gene mutation to the next generation.
The Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics recommends genetic counseling for individuals with a strong history of breast, ovarian, colon or other cancers.
Read more about cancer risk assessments and when to recommend genetic counseling.
Currently, the Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics does do not offer screening for cancer predisposition genes. However, our genetic counselor is available to speak with community members to answer questions and to provide appropriate clinical screening resources.
Access to Expertise
In addition to providing counseling through our carrier screening program, our genetic counselor is available to talk to community members – free of charge – to answer their questions and identify the best clinical resource to meet their needs. Our genetic counselor typically answers calls and emails within 48 hours. Email JewishGenetics@juf.org for more information.