Two weeks after Queller's maternal grandmother died from kidney failure, her mother was diagnosed with metastasized ovarian cancer. Eleven months after she, too, died, Queller, single and in her thirties, got tested for the "breast cancer gene" mutation (BRCA). Her results came back positive. Queller, who planned eventually to marry and have children, figured the cancer would come in the latter half of her life. But after doing some research and talking with medical experts and breast cancer survivors-many with her same genetic mutation, BRCA-1-she realized the cancer could strike at any time and that she would need either "vigilant surveillance and hope for the best" or undergo radical surgery. The experience of her mother's suffering-along with her own bravery and strong will to survive-led her to decide on a prophylactic double mastectomy (she has decided to put off having her ovaries removed until after she has the children for whom she hopes). Queller has written a vivid, powerful, informative account of a difficult situation and an almost impossible decision (hers is one with which not all medical authorities would agree) with honesty and grace. Highly recommended for all public library and consumer health collections.
Causes jessica queller Supports
Women for Women
NYU Cancer Institute