Letters to the editor – Wicked Local

Posted By on February 3, 2021

Wicked Local

Response to article onOneinForty,BRCA mutations

I would like to expand on the information about BRCA mutations that was communicated in the Jan. 21, 2021, Beacon article about Lauren Corduck. Lauren Corduck must have been an incredible person to have founded Oneinforty while battling ovarian cancer. I am sure that informing people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent about their possible genetic risk spared many lives; Lauren was a true hero. I do not intend, in any way, to diminish her accomplishments but rather to share additional information about BRCA mutations.

Based on the article, people might assume that only people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carry this risk. This is not the case. Its important to realize that although the risks are not as high, a person does not have to have Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry in order to carry a BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 mutation. These mutations can occur in anyone and put them at significant risk for breast, ovarianand possibly other cancers.

Its important for everyone to examine the health history on both sides of their family, and if there is any evidence of early onset breast cancer or of ovarian cancer, to advocate for genetic testing. Sometimes its difficult to spot these patterns if there arent many female ancestors and/or there is limited knowledge of previous generations. When in doubt, ask for the testing (a simple blood test).

I felt compelled to share this information to expand on Laurens amazing work. While it is true that the risk is highest for Ashkenazi Jews, it is not unique to that population. Additional information about BRCA mutations is available through the Basser Center for BRCA at UPenn (http://basser.org) or F.O.R.C.E. (http://facingourrisk.org).

Ann Little

Boxborough

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Letters to the editor - Wicked Local

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