Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Predestined for Cancer?

In Pursuit of Answers One May Not Want to Know - NYTimes.com: "I jogged into the Stanford Cancer Clinic with my boyfriend, the youngest people there by two decades. We stood there sweating and holding hands, a jarring sight in the sickly light. “You are 18, right?” the receptionist asked. Behind me, a woman so gaunt that her cheekbones protruded rolled by in a wheelchair. The oncologist called me alone to the exam room, and I told her the story I had revealed to more doctors than friends: I carry the BRCA1 mutation, which gives you a 98 percent chance of developing cancer. When my family found out that I might have inherited the mutation from my mother, we took it as a given that I would get tested. Scientists, atheists and lawyers, we are compulsively rational. Yet when I learned I carried the mutation, I felt the cruel weight of a paradox: you can never know whether you want to know until you already do. . . ."

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