Screening of high-risk groups for breast and ovarian cancer in Europe: A focus on the Jewish population

Karen L. Belkić, Miri Cohen, Marcela Márquez, Miriam Mints, Brigitte Wilczek, Anne H. Berman, Enrique Castellanos, Martha Castellanos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Low breast cancer screening rates are often found among ethnic minority groups and those born outside the host country. This is of particular concern for high-risk groups, who should benefit from ongoing trials aimed at optimizing screening strategies for breast, as well as ovarian cancer. Both of these issues are germane for Jewish women in Europe. We systematically review the literature concerning breast cancer early detection practices (BCEDP) among Jewish women, and examine European surveillance studies of high-risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer that had imaging in the surveillance protocol, in order to assess the likelihood of adequately including women from minority ethnic groups. No studies were found about BCEDP among Jewish women in Europe. Twenty-one research groups from Israel or the US addressed BCEDP among Jewish women. Some Jewish women in the US and Israel, including recent immigrants, are under-screened. Twenty-four research groups reported imaging surveillance of women at increased risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer in Europe. There was a clear benefit to magnetic resonance imaging and/or more intensive screening for women with increased breast cancer risk. Some of these surveillance studies considered ethnic minority groups at high risk, including Jewish women, but none provided adequate outreach to ensure that these groups were included in their programs. The specific screening needs of Jewish and other high-risk ethnic minority groups in Europe have not been met regarding breast and ovarian cancer. A European-wide, population-based approach is suggested, with cultural sensitivity being vital for these efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-267
Number of pages35
JournalOncology Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Müllerska Fund through the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and by the Signe and Olof Wallenius Stiftelse, Cancerfonden and King Gustav the 5th Jubilee Fund, Sweden, to which the authors are grateful.


  • BRCA mutations
  • Breast cancer
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Early detection
  • Imaging surveillance
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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