You don’t have to be Jewish to inherit one of the BRCA gene mutations. But these mutations, which increase the risk of adult-onset breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers, disproportionately injure Jewish people.

One in 400 people in the general population carry a BRCA mutation; one in 40 in the Jewish (mostly Ashkenazi) population. Some of those affected are working to encourage more genetic testing to help prevent these cancers.