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How to make the best decisions when at high risk for breast or ovarian cancer

When she was forty-two, Joi Morris learned that she has a genetic mutation on a gene known as BRCA2. This meant that her risk of getting breast cancer could be as high as 84 percent by age seventy, and that her risk for ovarian cancer was also high. Compounding her risk was the fact that her mother had developed breast cancer in her forties. After much research and consultation, Joi made the difficult decision of undergoing prophylactic bilateral mastectomies.

When she first received her genetic test results, the vast knowledge needed to understand both her risk and her medical options was daunting and confusing. She yearned for answers to her many questions but there was no single, comprehensive source of information and advice to help guide her. POSITIVE RESULTS: MAKING THE BEST DECISIONS WHEN YOU'RE AT HIGH RISK FOR BREAST OR OVARIAN CANCER (Prometheus Books, $20) was born of Joi's desire to create such a resource for those women (and some men) like her who were fighting, facing, and fearing breast and ovarian cancer.

To create a thorough guidebook, Joi needed the help of a compassionate and experienced medical expert. Enter Dr. Ora Gordona medical geneticist, director of the Cedars-Sinai GenRisk Adult Genetics program, and Joi's doctor. Through clinical practice, teaching, and professional lectures, Dr. Gordon had come to the realization that the general public understood little about hereditary cancer risk, and that unfortunately many doctors advising these women and men often had incomplete information. She too felt a book was needed that would give women and men the basic vocabulary and tools for navigating cancer risk for themselves and their loved ones, as well as providing an invaluable resource for primary-care doctors. Together they have created a truly unique resource for families facing the specter of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

"The combination of a breast cancer patient and a physician-specialist in high risk breast and ovarian cancer syndromes as co-authors is an extremely powerful combination resulting in a true reference manual for a new generation of genetically guided treatments for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers," says Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, MD, PhD, director, Center for Genomic Medicine, Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, and author of Genomic and Personalized Medicine.

One part memoir, three parts "how to" manual, POSITIVE RESULTS is both Joi's account of navigating the decision-making maze as well as the helpful guidebook she so desperately wanted at the start of her journey. It comprehensively reviews every decision, beginning with genetic testing and genetic counseling; provides history and perspective on breast and ovarian cancer screening, mastectomy, breast reconstruction, and ovarian surgery; and provides information on cutting edge research and potential future advances that may well change the decision-making landscape for women and men facing these hereditary cancers.

All of the latest medical options are discussed, including genetic testing for breast cancer risk, breast cancer and ovarian cancer surveillance, assessing risk, mastectomy and breast reconstruction techniques, surgery, managing menopause, and cancer risks in men who carry mutations on BRCA genes.

POSITIVE RESULTS is "a frank, personal, informative and extremely accessible account of the latest insights into breast cancer genetics, diagnosis and treatment," says Kevin Davies, author of Breakthrough: The Race to Find the Breast Cancer Gene and Cracking the Genome. Explaining in a clear and steady manner the myths and realities of "the breast cancer genes," it lays out all the options in easy-to-follow, compassionate language. It will help women and men decide if they want to pursue genetic testing, guide them in interpreting their test results, and give them a sound basis for making the life-saving decisions required to manage their risks.

Actress, director, and speaker Kate Jackson calls POSITIVE RESULTS a "courageous, generous, open, honest, compassionate, and daring book. [It] is inspiring, empowering, enlightening, amazing, and, for some women, will be a lifesaving encounter with this author, who can guide them to the place where she standsnext to the light at the end of the tunnel."


Contact: Jill Maxick
Prometheus Books

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