FORCE and Temple Beth Am Share Life-Saving Information About Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer in the Jewish Community

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Join us for an important Jewish Health event--CANCER GENETICS & JEWISH HERITAGE. November 10th, 2011-- 6:30pm-9:00pm Register at:

FORCE is the only national nonprofit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer

Learning that I carried a BRCA mutation, like so many others of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, was scary. But, this knowledge has empowered me to learn and to make choices that will affect my future for the better.

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You may have your dad’s eyes and your mom’s smile, but you can also inherit risk for cancer from either parent.  Some families carry a genetic change known as a mutation in genes called BRCA 1 or BRCA 2. These gene changes can cause a very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer to run in the family. Those of Jewish heritage need to pay particular attention as people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are affected more than any other ethnic population with approximately 1 in 40 having a BRCA mutation.  Sadly, most are unaware of their risk. 

This event aims to change that. On November 10th, 2011, Temple Beth Am's Men's Club and Sisterhood, together with FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, the only nonprofit dedicated to supporting those with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, are sponsoring an educational event on CANCER GENETICS & JEWISH HERITAGE.  Distinguished speakers include:

  •          Dr. Elisabeth McKeen, Oncology and Cancer Genetics
  •     Dr. John Rimmer, Breast Surgeon and Director of the Kristin Hoke Breast Health Program
  •     Cathy Marinak, Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetics Program at Jupiter Medical Center
  •     Amy Shainman, Previvor, FORCE Outreach Coordinator and Temple Beth Am Member
  •     Sue Friedman , FORCE Founder and Executive Director 

Refreshments and dessert will be served from 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and the panel discussion will be from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

At this event, you will learn that both men and women are affected by these genetic mutations. You will learn that women with this genetic mutation have up to an 87% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and up to a 50% lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer. Risks are elevated for other cancers as well, including prostate, pancreatic and melanoma. These facts and statistics cannot be ignored.

For Jupiter resident and Palm Beach County FORCE Outreach Coordinator, Amy Shainman, these numbers were more than a statistic.  Her great-grandmother had breast cancer. Her grandmother died of breast cancer at the age of 33. She watched her 48 year-old sister battle both ovarian and uterine cancer.  Shainman sought genetic counseling and learned that she carried a BRCA1 #5832 genetic mutation, one of the three founder mutations associated with people of Jewish descent.  She inherited the mutation from her father.

Shainman is what is called a previvor, someone who is living with a very high risk for cancer but has not developed the disease.

Shainman shares, "Learning that I carried a BRCA mutation, like so many others of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, was scary. But, this knowledge has empowered me to learn and to make choices that will affect my future for the better. FORCE provided me with the knowledge about hereditary cancer and the information on what I could do to reduce my cancer risk.”

Thousands of women have turned to FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, the nation’s only nonprofit organization focused solely on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. 

“In my new advocacy role as FORCE Outreach Coordinator for Palm Beach County, I feel compelled to let the Jewish community know we are here, and that through knowledge families can minimize the long-term impact of the BRCA gene mutation,” adds Shainman.  

Please join us on November 10th for this potentially life-saving free seminar. To register, please log on to: OR send an email to: 1in40event(at)earthlink(dot)net

FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  Founded in 1999, FORCE serves thousands of families with support, education, advocacy, awareness and research specific to the needs of this community.  For more information about FORCE, please visit and visit the Facebook page at to interact with the FORCE community.

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Amy Byer Shainman/Palm Beach County Outreach Coordinator

Sue Friedman, FORCE Executive Director
(954) 255-8732
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