Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blood Matters, facing genetic mutations

by Beyond Lab

What will happen after having your personal genome mapped (or sequenced or SNP'ed)? Will your life be changed if there is an well-established disease causing mutation?

If you are wondering these questions, please check this book out.

Blood Matters From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene. By Masha Gessen.

Masha carries a known BRCA1 mutation which is known to be a cause of breast cancer and ovary cancer. She inherited this mutation from her mother who died of breast cancer. This book described how her life has been changed after knowing the positive mutation. She has several options: 1, ignore it and live a "normal" life; 2. have breasts removed; 3. have ovaries removed; 4. have both breasts and ovaries removed; 5. monitor closely (which you should do anyway); 6. try to improve physical/immune system and fight against potential cancer.

What's her choice?

Although I haven't read the book yet, it certainly is on my list.

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