Studies show that all Ashkenazi Jews have an elevated chance (1 in 40) to carry a BRCA mutation, even if they have no cancer in their families. Unfortunately, most health insurances will not cover BRCA testing if you do not have a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer. 

We are currently in the process of developing the next phase of the BRCAcommunity Study. For more information about the study or to express interest in participating, email us at brca@montefiore.org.  

Is there an affordable way to get tested?

The Program for Jewish Genetic Health is now offering subsidized BRCA mutation testing to all Ashkenazi Jewish individuals (having at least one Ashkenazi Jewish grandparent) over the age of 25 who have not already had BRCA testing and do not have a strong personal or family history of BRCA related cancers. The cost of this testing will be covered in part by the individuals getting tested and in part by generous donors.  Your cost of testing for the 3 Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA founder mutations will be $100. The testing and the associated costs will be discussed with you by a genetic counselor prior to pursuing testing.

How do I get subsidized testing?

All interested individuals should begin by clicking the "Get Started" button below which will direct them to complete some forms which will help us schedule you for your genetic counseling appointment. During the registration process, we ask you to fill out a questionnaire which explores your personal and family history of cancer. We use national guidelines to determine if, based on the history that you provided, you could participate in one of our group genetic counseling sessions, or if it would be more appropriate for you to be seen one-on-one by a genetic counselor to discuss your family history and genetic testing options. Please note that subsidized testing is only available through our clinical affiliate, Montefiore Medical Center located in Bronx, New York.

Do I have to be in New York in order to participate?

In order to participate in the study and pursue testing through initiative, you must be seen, in person, at our offices in Westchester, NY or Bronx, NY. We do not provide reimbursement for travel or transportation. If you are not able to come to the NY area but are still interested in genetic testing, you can find a local genetic counselor at www.NSGC.org

 

What happens at a genetic counseling consultation?

If you have no medical or family history of BRCA-related cancer, you will be part of a group genetic counseling session. The genetic counselor will explain how genetic testing works and will discuss options for the future, as well as implications of getting tested. If you decide to get tested, your results will be ready a few weeks later. In addition, you will be invited to participate in a survey based research project.

What is the research project about?

This is an Einstein/Montefiore IRB-approved study whose purpose is to identify BRCA carriers who would otherwise have been missed by not meeting current testing criteria, and to assess the feasibility of and desire for BRCA population screening in this population. We recently published the findings from our pilot year in a scientific journal named Genetics in Medicine. We are currently in the process of developing the next phase of the BRCAcommunity Study. For more information about the study or to express interest in participating, email us at brca@montefiore.org.  

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