Jewish Journal

Man Mammograms for Jews, A Breathless News Release You’ll Never Read

by Pini Herman

April 30, 2014 | 3:29 pm

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research just released a finding that Korean women have the lowest rate of recent mammograms. The press release neglected to mention that those same women are likely to have the lowest rates of breast cancer deaths in the U.S.

Not so with Ashkenazi Jewish men and women, where one-in-forty are carriers of the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genetic mutation associated with breast cancer as opposed to one in 800 In the general population. U.S. health surveys rarely include Jewish as an ethnic category.

Men who inherit an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have approximately a 6 percent risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime. That risk is 80 percent greater than the lifetime risk of men without an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.

I had my first Man Mammogram at Kaiser-Permanente, Cadillac clinic in LA which has a lively Jewish clientele judging from the lab, pharmacy and waiting room lines.  After discovering why women complain about being pinched into the contraption, I asked the mammography technician of 5 years experience of how many men she had put into the same awkward position as myself and she could recall only another four or so in her career in the busy shop.

Thank heavens for Obamacare that makes pre-existing conditions rejection fears a thing of the past.  Breast cancer surveillance for men is what more knowledgeable physicians now insist on.  In Israel, the consensus is that mammographies should take place, but in Israel too, Ashkenazi men receiving yearly mammograms is likely a rarity.

Pini Herman, PhD. specializes in demographics, big data and predictive analysis, has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:


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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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