Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

The Test that COULD Save your Life

Posted by shiduri on July 12, 2006

DNA with Star of David at endFor centuries, Ashkenazi Jewish people were ghettoized behind walls and in Shtetls throughout Eastern Europe. Not only did this imposed isolation contribute to both the Premodern and Modern conception of the Conceptual Jew as a perfidious ‘Other’, but it also guaranteed that certain genes would be ‘recycled’ within the community. It seems that the proclivity for ovarian cancer is one of the ‘perks’ of shtetl-living that the daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters of Eastern European Jewish familes have inherited. Thats the bad news.

The good news is that there is now a simple blood test called the CA-125 that helps detect Ovarian Cancer.
Ovarian Cancer is a silent killer. The nebulous symptoms include bloating, stomach ache, and weight-gain. It primarily attacks women over the age of 40, but there have been cases of younger women with the disease. If it’s detected early, the chance of survival is high. Thats why the CA-125 test is crucial to Ashkenazi Jewish Women.

For more information please see: http://www.ovariancancer.org/

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3 Responses to “The Test that COULD Save your Life”

  1. oybay said

    Some more information on my Jews are more at-risk than other groups.

    http://www.dnadirect.com/resource/conditions/breast_cancer/GH_Brca_Genes_AshkenazPop.jsp

    Also, Jewish genetics is a specialty of mine, so bring on the questions. 🙂

  2. Lilya said

    Well in that case, if I were to donate blood, would the recipient become part Jewish? haha. jk.

  3. Oyster said

    Hey Lilya!

    While saving a life is very much a mitzvah of the highest order, it doesn’t confer Jewishness. I defer to the Rabbis on this one. They really should go through conversion. :-p

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