Tagged: ethnicity


Race and ethnicity is a complex issue for cancer. Partly there is an impact, which is truly about ethnic origins. The first breast cancer gene to be discovered is called BRCA1 and inherited mutations in BRCA1 increase the risk of various cancers including: breast, ovarian, uterus, cervix, pancreatic, and maybe prostate cancer. About 1.5 percent of the Ashkenazi (European origin) Jewish population carries an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 gene. While this increased risk could be due to a variety of factors such as diet and cigarette smoking, a growing body of evidence suggests that a significant portion of the increased risk of cancer in individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent has a genetic basis. In developed societies ethnicity tends to be a surrogate for economic activity and access the treatments. So, when the issue of ethnicity is raised in North America it is very different to when it is raised in, say, Israel. Breast cancer for Afro-Americans is tends to be more associated with socio-economic issues than it does ethnicity. 

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