Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the by Robert Klitzman

By Robert Klitzman

Within the fifty years seeing that DNA used to be came upon, we've seen remarkable advances. for instance, genetic trying out has speedily more suitable the analysis and remedy of ailments akin to Huntington's, cystic fibrosis, breast melanoma, and Alzheimer's. yet with this new wisdom comes tricky judgements for numerous humans, who combat with worry approximately even if to get proven, and if that is so, what to do with the implications. Am I My Genes? indicates how actual contributors have faced those matters of their day-by-day lives.

Robert L. Klitzman interviewed sixty four those that confronted Huntington's affliction, breast and ovarian melanoma, or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The e-book describes--often within the person's personal words--how each one has wrestled with the titanic implications that genetics has for his or her lives and their households. Klitzman exhibits how those women and men fight to make experience in their obstacle and its reasons. They confront a sequence of quandaries--whether to be established; no matter if to reveal their genetic hazards to oldsters, siblings, spouses, offspring, acquaintances, medical professionals, insurers, employers, and colleges; how you can view and comprehend themselves and their genetics; what remedies, if any, to pursue; even if to have youngsters, undertake, monitor embryos, or abort; and no matter if to take part in genetic groups. within the face of those uncertainties, they've got attempted to appreciate those assessments and possibilities, keep away from fatalism, nervousness, melancholy, and discrimination, and locate wish, which means, and a feeling of wholeness. pressured to wander via a barren region of moving sands, they chart paths that many others may well finally persist with.

Klitzman captures the following the voices of pioneers, the various first to come across the private dilemmas brought via sleek genetics. Am I My Genes? is a useful account in their adventure, person who turns into the entire extra universal within the coming years.

"An impressive exploration...probing the numerous roles and implications of genetics in our lives today.... choked with staggering insights, this riveting publication is essential examining for us all." -- Paula Zahn

"Klitzman lucidly discusses the ethical and mental complexities that are available in the wake of genetic testing.... an immense booklet for somebody who has the genes for pathology, that's we all, and that i suggest it highly." -- Kay Redfield Jamison, writer of An Unquiet brain

"An illuminating voyage during the scientific, familial and existential quandaries confronted by means of these folks at genetic risk." -- Thomas H. Murray, President and CEO, The Hastings heart Show

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Extra resources for Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing

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Some drew on their sense of how anxious they were. Yet anxiety could result either directly as an HD symptom or indirectly as an emotional response. The Type Who Does Better Knowing Many individuals think that people should test if they are the type of person who does better knowing, but gauging whether one fits into this category is not 42 G E N E S I N T H E FA M I LY always easy. Some feel they are this type, which gives them a sense of control. As Rhonda, the nurse who at age six saw her mother die of breast cancer, and later developed the disease as well, said: I’m a need-to-know person.

I had been sick for a while, not responding to antibiotics. Then my son came home for Christmas and had pneumonia, which he’s been prone to since a young child. He was on an antibiotic. But I sent him down to my doctor and made my son promise to have tests done when he got back to his own home. He did. I asked him a couple of months later. ” A month or so later my family doctor asked me if he had had testing done. I said, “Yeah, they told him he had some kind of missing enzyme,” and the light bulb went on for my doctor.

Does that mean never leave the house? The test tells you the cancer genes are there. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be active. Why live with that fear in your life thinking: “I have cancer, I’m going to die”? 46 G E N E S I N T H E FA M I LY Those who already had breast cancer and then considered genetic testing may not pursue it because of fears that a positive result will depress them with the possibility of future recurrence. Karen, the lawyer with breast cancer who had not undergone testing, wasn’t sure if she “could deal with a positive result.

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