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

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

By Robert Klitzman

Within the fifty years given that DNA used to be came across, we've seen notable advances. for instance, genetic trying out has quickly superior the analysis and remedy of illnesses corresponding 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 no matter if to get validated, and if this is the case, what to do with the consequences. Am I My Genes? indicates how actual members have faced those matters of their day-by-day lives.

Robert L. Klitzman interviewed sixty four those that confronted Huntington's illness, 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 gigantic 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 concern and its explanations. They confront a sequence of quandaries--whether to be confirmed; even if to reveal their genetic hazards to folks, siblings, spouses, offspring, pals, medical professionals, insurers, employers, and colleges; the way to view and comprehend themselves and their genetics; what remedies, if any, to pursue; even if to have teenagers, undertake, monitor embryos, or abort; and even if to take part in genetic groups. within the face of those uncertainties, they've got attempted to appreciate those checks and percentages, stay away from fatalism, anxiousness, depression, and discrimination, and locate wish, which means, and a feeling of wholeness. pressured to wander via a desolate tract of moving sands, they chart paths that many others may possibly finally stick to.

Klitzman captures the following the voices of pioneers, a number of the first to come across the non-public dilemmas brought through sleek genetics. Am I My Genes? is a useful account in their event, one who turns into the entire extra universal within the coming years.

"An striking exploration...probing the various roles and implications of genetics in our lives today.... jam-packed with fantastic insights, this riveting ebook is essential interpreting for us all." -- Paula Zahn

"Klitzman lucidly discusses the ethical and mental complexities that are available in the wake of genetic testing.... a big booklet for someone 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 throughout the clinical, familial and existential quandaries confronted through 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

Sample text

Testing Decisions 31 She suggests how full acceptance and acknowledgement of disease can vary, and be difficult. Others avoid attributing physical symptoms to a possible diagnosis. They assess themselves for possible evidence, and see their continued ability to function as welcome demonstration of being mutation-free. Yet such assumptions can turn out to be wrong. Walter had worked in government, and recently developed symptoms of HD. He went on disability, though he has not been tested. He said, sadly: I play the flute, go on the treadmill at the gym every day, and work out with dumbbells.

Moreover, doctors may be insensitive to patients’ difficulties considering and undergoing genetic tests. Physicians may see these tests as merely routine, not much different from other laboratory assays, expecting that, as with many other evaluative diagnostic tests, at-risk patients would of course undergo testing. Laura, a graphic designer with a breast cancer mutation but no symptoms, said, Doctors forget that there’s a whole lot of emotional baggage that comes along with testing. It’s really a huge decision.

There’s a lot of cancer in my family, but I always thought I would get colon, not breast cancer. It just didn’t click for me. In some ways, I still haven’t totally dealt with it. I talk very openly about being a breast cancer survivor—it’s influenced the way I live—but it’s still not real. ”: Testing Decisions 31 She suggests how full acceptance and acknowledgement of disease can vary, and be difficult. Others avoid attributing physical symptoms to a possible diagnosis. They assess themselves for possible evidence, and see their continued ability to function as welcome demonstration of being mutation-free.

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