Join our Coalition and the University of Colorado to
Save Jewish Lives
Getting Tested is EASY
At the BRCA Initiative, we are dedicated to preventing hereditary cancer in Colorado's Jewish community with new access to low cost testing. Our coalition efforts will cover your out-of-pocket costs through direct reimbursement.
Our mission is to educate the Jewish population about the higher risks we face. We will work to provide testing to all adults (over 25) with at least one Jewish grandparent so that everyone has access to BRCA testing and a full cancer hereditary cancer genetic testing panel.
Join us to prevent cancer and save Jewish lives today.
Cancer Prevention IS Possible!
- 1 in 400 for the general population have a mutation in their BRCA gene that controls the growth of cancerous tumors.
- 1 in 40 people of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage has a BRCA gene mutation. That is a 10X increase in cancer risk from the general population.
- Women with a BRCA gene mutation have an up to 72% chance of getting breast cancer and a 44% chance of getting ovarian cancer.
- Men with a BRCA mutation have a higher risk for prostate cancer.
- Both men and women have a higher risk for pancreatic cancer.
A cancer screening test looks for genetic changes that increase the risk for many types of cancer. The JScreen CancerGEN test looks at more than 70 genes that are related to hereditary cancer. When functioning correctly, these gene suppress tumors (cancers) in humans. When there is a harmful variant in these genes, they do not suppress certain cancers like they should, increasing the person’s risk for certain types of cancers.
The BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are genes that suppress tumors (cancers) in humans. When there is a mutation in these genes, they do not suppress certain cancers like they should and persons with these mutations are at a higher risk for certain types of cancers.
What is the cost of genetic testing?
The out-of-pocket cost will be reimbused for the first 100 people who sign up.
How do I get tested?
Let us know you're interested by completing the simple contact form on our home page.
We'll contact you with details. It is a very easy process.
What will this test tell me?
The test will cover many genes associated with cancer, but perhaps the most important is the BRCA gene mutation - which 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries versus 1 in 400 in the general population. The test you are signing up for actually covers 70 hereditary gene mutations that can cause cancer.
This panel was developed because it can help prevent hereditary cancer by early identification of risk. Those who test positive for a gene mutation can work with their medical providers to avoid cancer.
This effort is beginning in a few short weeks. We will contact you to get you qualified. There are basic qualifications for participating.
Once qualified, the process is simple:
Step 1: Request a kit
Step 2: Receive the kit - we will contact your doctor for a test order and a “spit kit” will be mailed to your home (U.S. only).
Step 3: Send the kit - Send your saliva sample to our certified testing lab in the pre-paid mailer included with your kit.
Step 4: Get results
Certified genetic counselors will provide results through a telehealth appointment. You and your doctor will receive a copy of the results when the entire process is complete.
Life insurance and genetic testing
Getting a positive result on your test could prevent you from securing life insurance if you do not already have it. Securing life insurance before you test will allow you to keep life insurance regardless of your results.
What the difference between this test and another test like 23 & Me?
Jscreen is affiliated with Emory University and will provide a very high quality, clinically actionable test – which means this test your Doctor can trust!
Once I get this test, will I need to be tested again in the future?
Generally speaking, the DNA that is tested by the JScreen CancerGEN test does not change over time. This means that there would be no need to repeat this same test in the future, as the results would be the same.
However, genetic testing technology does change over time, and new genes may be discovered. Therefore, it’s possible that a new and improved test might be available in the future that you would want to consider.
I am worried about my results getting into the wrong hands.
How will you ensure that my information is kept private?
The privacy of your health information is very important to us. We follow federal and state privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and regulations (HIPAA), to protect your personal health information. The entities that will have access to your medical and genetic information include: JScreen at Emory University, the independent testing laboratory, and your ordering health-care provider. In addition, if you provide your health insurance information and your health insurance company requests your results, that information would be provided to them. At the end of the screening process, you will be given a copy of your results via secure email.
Neither JScreen nor the testing lab will sell your information to third parties.
You'll want to know that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, commonly known as GINA, is an important U.S. civil rights law that protects individuals from discrimination based on their genetic information. It was first introduced into the U.S. Congress in the 1990s at a time when genetic testing and genetics research was taking off at breakneck speed. GINA prevents health insurance companies and employers from requesting that people take genetic tests, prohibits health insurers from using someone's genetic information to refuse insurance or charge higher prices, and also prohibits employers from hiring, firing and making other employment decisions based on their employee's genetic information.
How do I get my results?
You will receive an email indicating that your results are ready with instructions on how to get them. Most people will be directed to schedule a tele-health genetic counseling session to receive their results. Once the entire process is complete, we’ll send a copy of the results to you and your doctor.
How is the test done?
The test is done using a saliva sample.
Are there risks to genetic testing?
There is no medical risk associated with the sample collection for genetic testing. However, it is important to think about what the test can tell you, including the emotional, financial, medical and social implications of finding out you are at increased risk for certain types of cancer. If you are struggling to make a decision about testing, you may want to consider consulting with a specialized healthcare provider, such as a genetic counselor.
What if my results are positive for a harmful variant in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes?
If you have a harmful variant in either of these genes, it means that you are much more likely to develop breast cancer or ovarian cancer compared to someone who doesn't have these harmful genetic variants.
However, it’s very important to remember that a positive result doesn't mean you're certain to develop cancer… only that your risk is higher and you can do things differently to reduce that risk.
Things you can do might include:
Having different types of cancer screening exams, perhaps earlier and more often than is typically recommended
Taking medications to reduce your cancer risk.
Considering procedures to reduce your cancer risk, such as preventive removal of your ovaries or breasts.
What you choose to do depends on many factors — including your age and whether you have finished having children, medical history, prior treatments, past surgeries and personal preferences. A specialized healthcare provider can help you understand your options and make these decisions.
What does it mean if I test negative?
A negative test result means that no harmful gene variants were found in the genes that were included. However, testing negative does not mean you will not get breast, ovarian, or another type of cancer. It’s important to remember that even people at “average” risk can develop breast, ovarian, or other cancers. A negative genetic test does not remove your risk altogether.
Your negative genetic test result needs to be interpreted by an expert in the context of your personal and family history. A genetic counselor or a doctor with expertise in this area can help with this step.
Info on this FAQ was taken directly from the Jscreen.org FAQ and supplemented by material from Mayoclinic.org