“The Jewish gene makes us more prone to can­cer.”

Nir­mala Vaze, 67, with daugh­ter Sam­pada Peshwe, 40 Nag­pur

India Today - - SPORT -

Folk­lore says the Konkanastha Brah­mins mi­grated to In­dia from the fron­tier lands of Europe. When Vaze went for ge­netic test­ing at the Royal Mars­den Can­cer Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don, it re­vealed a sub- type of an in­her­ited ge­netic mu­ta­tion found in the can­cer- prone Ashke­nazi Jews of Eastern Euro­pean de­scent.

The‘ faulty’ gene that led An­gelina Jolie to de­cide on a preven­tive dou­ble mas­tec­tomy is also an ‘ Ashke­nazi Jewish mu­ta­tion’. For Vaze, it was a mo­ment of deep con­nect with her fam­ily’s an­cient legacy: The ge­netic root that ex­plained why can­cer had rav­aged 15 lives in the last three gen­er­a­tions. Vaze was 41when she found the first lump on her breast. It broke her heart when her daugh­ter Sam­pada was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer at 26. “What have I passed on to you,” she had said. “Your can­cer, yes, but also your fight­ing spirit,” her daugh­ter had replied.

SHEKHAR SONI

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