Why does it make a difference in breast cancer risk if someone has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry?

We all have susceptibilities to certain diseases based on our backgrounds. In this group of Eastern European and Russian Jewish individuals, there is a higher incidence of hereditary breast cancer. In the general population, mutations in the most common genes associated with inherited breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, occur in about 1 in 800 women. For people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, the incidence is 3 percent, or 24 in every 800 individuals.

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