BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are up to 6 X more common in people of Jewish ancestry compared to the general population. They are the cause of many potentially preventable cancer cases in the Jewish population. Fortunately, an international shift in BRCA testing recommendations & a new NHS testing initiative mean the Jewish community has never been better equipped to tackle BRCA-related cancers head-on.

Outside of England? Click here

What you need to know about BRCA

What is BRCA?

BRCA refers to two genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2- that every one of us has. They play a vital role in the prevention of cancer. 

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What is Jewish about BRCA?

BRCA gene mutations are disproportionately more common among people of Jewish ancestry then the general population.  

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Who should test?

Historically BRCA testing was only recommended to people with a strong history in their family of BRCA-related cancers.  This has all recently changed. 

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What to consider before testing

BRCA testing can have big implications for both the individual testing and their family. The decision to get tested needs to be carefully considered and fully informed. 

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How to get tested

NHS England is now offering free BRCA gene testing via The NHS Jewish BRCA Testing Programme. 

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What happens after testing?

The NHS provides genetic counselling and cancer risk reducing measures to anyone identified as having a BRCA gene mutation. 

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Still have questions? Visit our FAQs page

Considering testing and need some support? click here for NHS and community resources (TO ADD LINK TO INTERNAL ANCHOR ON WHAT TO CONSIDER B4 TESTING PAGE) 

Jewish BRCA in numbers.



People of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry have a fault in either of their BRCA genes.



People of Sephardi Jewish ancestry have a fault in either of their BRCA genes.



People in the general UK population have a fault in either of their BRCA genes.

89% of Jews in the UK with a BRCA gene fault are unaware of their status.

Real stories


NHS Jewish BRCA Testing Programme

NHS England is now offering free BRCA gene testing to anyone: 

  • living in England
  • aged 18 or over
  • with 1 or more Jewish grandparent
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BRCA is a big topic.

You probably have some big questions.

Must I have a mastectomy?

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But I’m a man!?

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GET RID FOR NOW. Does this mean I’m going to get cancer?

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How will I explain all this to my kids?

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Will we need to have kids through IVF?

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I’m worried about how my relatives will react 

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I haven’t started my family- do I need to remove my ovaries straight away?

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Ready to test for BRCA?

Outside of England? Click here.

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