Pretty Is What Changes: Impossible Choices, the Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny

Jessica Queller, Author . Spiegel & Grau $24.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-385-52040-9

TV writer Queller (The Gilmore Girls ) was 31, single and healthy when her mother succumbed to ovarian cancer at the age of 58, having battled breast cancer six years earlier. Queller chronicles her mother's long and anguished struggle in vivid detail. After her mother's death, at the suggestion of an acquaintance, Queller opted to discover whether she carries the breast cancer gene; indeed, she tested positive for the BRCA-1 gene mutation, which gave her an 87% chance of breast cancer before age 50 and a 44% chance of ovarian cancer in her lifetime. With this knowledge in hand, Queller began the journey toward her pivotal choice: a prophylactic double mastectomy at age 35. Along the way she traveled between the West Coast and New York City, seeking medical opinions, information and unsuccessfully—but not for lack of trying—a man she can love who will father her children before she follows up with voluntary surgery to remove her ovaries. This Hollywood writer's story is seamless and gripping; readers will be rooting for Queller and her heroic decision to confront her genetic destiny. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/14/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-0-385-52041-6
Open Ebook - 154 pages - 978-0-385-52571-8
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