Press Release

Sharsheret Symposium to Address Unique Impact of Breast Cancer Genetics on the Jewish Woman and Her Family

Hackensack, New Jersey (July 28, 2004) -- Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer, will present the symposium, “Breast Cancer Genetics: Impact on the Jewish Woman and Her Family,” Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. The event will attract breast cancer patients, their families, and health care professionals from the tri-state area and is funded by a generous grant from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York and with support from FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered. A transcript of the event will be available to patients and professionals nationwide on Sharsheret’s website, www.sharsheret.org.

The symposium will address areas of breast cancer genetics that have received little prior attention. Topics will include:

· The impact of hereditary breast cancer on the extended Jewish family.
· Follow-up care for Jewish women who test negative or positive for genetic alterations in the genes responsible for hereditary breast cancer.
· New research on genetic susceptibility for Jewish women of Sephardi descent.
· Hereditary breast cancer in younger Jewish women.
· Genetic counseling and testing in Chasidic and Orthodox Jewish communities.

The symposium will explore the findings of the recent New York Breast Cancer Study that followed more than 1,000 women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, and will feature a question and answer session with an expert panel and family members who have been affected by hereditary breast cancer.

Sharsheret is coordinating the symposium in response to the concerns of the women who phone the organization for support. “Since Sharsheret’s founding in 2001, we have received hundreds of queries from Jewish families concerned about the risk of hereditary breast cancer,” said Executive Director Rochelle Shoretz. “Our attempt is to broaden the discussion about genetics by addressing some of the issues that have long been ignored, including the impact of genetic counseling and genetic testing on the extended Jewish family. With generous support from the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, we will be able to make this discussion available to Jewish women and families nationwide.”

“Breast Cancer Genetics: Impact on the Jewish Woman and Her Family” is Sharsheret’s third symposium. The organization presented its first symposium on the subject of breast cancer and fertility at the Weil Medical College of Cornell University, and last year presented the symposium, “How Do We Care For Our Children? Issues for Women and Men Facing Breast Cancer,” at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Sharsheret’s medical symposia are free of charge.

For more information about Sharsheret and symposium reservations, please call Program Coordinator Elana Silber toll-free at (866) 474-2774.