In The Family
At 31, filmmaker Joanna Rudnick faces an impossible decision: remove her breasts and ovaries or risk incredible odds of developing cancer.
Armed with a positive genetic test result that leaves her essentially 'a ticking time bomb', she balances dreams of having her own children with the unnerving reality that she is risking her life by holding on to her fertility. In The Family follows Joanna as she takes us on a journey through the unpredictable world of predictive genetic testing.
Turning the camera on herself, Joanna bares her conflicting emotions about preventative surgery and the potential consequences. Turning the camera on her new relationship, she and her partner capture a young couple falling in love in the shadow of the mutation. Turning the camera on the company that owns the patents to the BRCA genes, she questions their control over access to the test. Along the way, she looks to other women and families dealing with the same unbelievable information.
You can find additional resources below, including books you can get at your local library and links to cancer support groups.
Eating Pomegranates: A Memoir of Mothers, Daughters, and the BRCA Gene by Sarah Gabriel
After being diagnosed with the same type of breast cancer that killed her mother, Sarah Gabriel was compelled to write this book. It chronicles her struggle for survival as she undergoes treatment and deals with the possibility of leaving behind her family as her mother did when she was only a teenager.
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer-from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.
Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions by Dina Roth Port
Through the incredible true stories of five young friends, as well as interviews with more than seventy top breast cancer experts, health writer Dina Roth Port addresses the universal questions of women everywhere who have watched family members suffer from the disease and wondered, "Am I next?"
Positive Results: Making the Best Decisions When You're at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer by Joi L. Morris and Ora K. Gordon
The latest options: genetic testing for breast cancer risk and surveillance, assessing risk, mastectomy and breast reconstruction techniques, ovarian cancer surveillance, surgery, managing menopause, and risks in men who carry mutations on BRCA genes.
Pretty is What Changes by Jessica Queller
A timely, affecting memoir from the front lines of medical science: When genetics can predict how we may die, how then do we decide how to live? Eleven months after her mother succumbs to cancer, Jessica Queller has herself tested for the BRCA "breast cancer" gene mutation. The results come back positive, putting her at a terrifyingly elevated risk of developing breast cancer before the age of fifty.
Hope in the Face of Cancer: A Survival Guide for the Journey You Did Not Choose by Amy Givler
Amy Givler, M.D. a cancer survivor, shares her experience and the stories of others with the voice of encouragement, faith, and strength she so desperately needed at the point of her diagnosis. With medical knowledge and insight into the path to come, Dr. Givler is able to offer answers and hope.
NOVA: Cancer Warrior
"Cancer Warrior" tells the incredible saga of Dr. Judah Folkman's dedication in a race to defeat cancer. For decades Folkman struggled against the grain of many in the cancer research community in his quest to pioneer a novel form of cancer treatment.
Experts Weigh Questions on Genetic Testing
Gene Ruling Could Have Wide Implications
Breast Removal Reduces Cancer Risk In Some Women
Family Struggles With Ambiguity of Genetic Testing
Examining Genetic Link to Breast Cancer Risk
In the Family
The official website for the award-winning film.
National Cancer Institute
Resources available from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
National nonprofit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
POV: In the Family
PBS website for In the Family.