The decision to undergo genetic testing is a very personal decision with the potential for some very powerful emotional repercussions, as we witness in Joanna Rudnick’s In the Family. Because their mother had survived ovarian cancer, Joanna and her sister understood that they might be at higher risk for developing cancer themselves. After her sister tested negative for the BRCA gene, Joanna realized that she should know whether she had the mutation herself.
When I found out that I carried the BRCA genetic mutation that drastically increases my odds of getting breast and ovarian cancer, the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it. The thought of telling my closest friends made my stomach turn. So I hid the piece of paper that said “positive for a deleterious mutation” and did everything possible to forget that I was basically a ticking time bomb.
Eventually, Joanna decided to confront her own fears the best way she knows how: by asking questions and making a film. She shares her journey and her quest for knowledge with viewers with In the Family, and would like to hear your stories, too.
In the Family airs on most PBS stations on Wednesday, October 1 at 10 PM. (Schedules vary, so check your local listings.)
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with the BRCA gene mutation? How has your experience differed from Joanna and the women featured in the film? Share your stories with us here.