Jenna didn’t know that she carried a disorder within her genetic makeup that could affect the lives of her unborn children. Karen didn’t know that she had inherited a marker that made her more susceptible to breast cancer. Both women credit JScreen, a non-profit genetic screening and education program, with saving their and their children’s lives by uncovering serious, hidden risks in their genes and giving them time to take preventive actions.

JScreen just launched its latest genetic testing option, the CancerGen panel, which analyzes the BRCA genes for breast and ovarian cancers and more than 60 other cancer-susceptibility genes, to determine the risk for different types of cancer.

Over the past year, your gifts have enabled the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County to support JScreen in reaching more than 350 young adults in our community through virtual education and screening.

Protecting the next generation of Jews with thoughtful family planning and cancer intervention

JScreen began its work about eight years ago, testing for genetic diseases that were found more often among Ashkenazi Jews, such as Tay-Sachs disease, a rare, inherited disorder that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The program continues to focus on educating couples before they have children about the potential risks that can be carried into the next generation.

“We are trying to reach young people before they get married or before they start having children. When they find out about their risks at the OB/GYN, they are often already pregnant,” said Hillary Kener Regelman, JScreen’s director of national outreach. “We want to make sure that affordability is not an issue either. People can mail in the test from anywhere in the U.S. All they have to provide is a saliva sample; it is not a blood sample anymore. Within a few weeks, they receive an explanation of their results via a telehealth genetic counseling session. It’s very simple.”

With the new CancerGen panel, Karen found out that she was BRCA2 positive, and she chose to have a bilateral mastectomy before cancer appeared.

“JScreen did indeed save my life and can do so for others who take the first steps toward genetic testing,” she said.

To learn more, visit Boca Raton residents can use the coupon code BocaRaton50 for $50 off a ReproGEN, CancerGEN, or Combo kit. Offer expires October 31, 2021.