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Pandora's DNA: Tracing the Breast Cancer Genes Through History, Science, and One Family Tree von [Stark, Lizzie]
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Pandora's DNA: Tracing the Breast Cancer Genes Through History, Science, and One Family Tree Kindle Edition

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Länge: 340 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

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"An extraordinary book, written with passion and compassion, Pandora's DNA illuminates a new world of science and medicine." —Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

“Lizzie Stark writes with intelligence, wit, and bracing honesty about the wrenching ambiguities of genetic medicine.” —Dan Fagin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation

“Stunning. I couldn’t put this book down. A must-read for any woman affected by this disease to learn her true risk, and especially for those women who believe they are unaffected by breast cancer. Lizzie Stark beautifully weaves her family’s personal narrative with untold, fascinating historic reporting. The emotional impact is a wallop. Although there is unbelievable sadness and tragedy in her family experiences, Lizzie’s story gives hope for a different future. Lizzie is my new hero.” —Geralyn Lucas, nineteen-year breast cancer survivor and author of Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy and Then Came Life: Living with Courage, Spirit and Gratitude After Breast Cancer

“With incisive wit and a reporter’s poke at the jugular, Stark delivers the goods on this disease that though now much discussed still creates anguish in most of us. For every collection.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“The book is a must-read for women questioning whether to be tested for the BRCA mutations and for women considering their options after testing positive. A gutsy, deeply revealing account that more than fulfills the promise of the subtitle.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With her remarkable memoir, Stark gives us medical history and personal testament that intelligently balances hard-edged science with boundless hope.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This text is a must read for anyone interested in the history of medical research, for those interested in the intersection of science/medicine and public policy, and for anyone concerned about health issues that, while not solely limited to women, are situated most frequently in the female body.” —Vision Learning

“Stark writes stylishly and entertainingly about an all-too common experience and in-the-news topic.” —Booklist

“I believe that every woman (and every man who cares about women) should read this book.” —Brookline Hub

“a frank recounting of [Stark’s] personal story, and an informative look at tracing the cancer gene in families…” —Quincy Herald-Whig


Would you cut out your healthy breasts and ovaries if you thought it might save your life? That’s not a theoretical question for journalist Lizzie Stark’s relatives, who grapple with the horrific legacy of cancer built into the family DNA. It is a BRCA mutation that has robbed most of her female relatives of breasts, ovaries, peace of mind, or life itself. In Pandora’s DNA, Stark uses her family’s experience to frame a larger story about the so-called breast cancer genes, exploring the morass of legal quandaries, scientific developments, medical breakthroughs, and ethical concerns that surround the BRCA mutations. She tells of the troubling history of prophylactic surgery and the storied origins of the boob job and relates the landmark lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, which held patents on the BRCA genes every human carries in their body until the Supreme Court overturned them in 2013. Although a genetic test for cancer risk may sound like the height of scientific development, the treatment remains crude and barbaric. Through her own experience, Stark shows what it’s like to live in a brave new world where gazing into a crystal ball of genetics has many unintended consequences.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1400 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 340 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1613748604
  • Verlag: Chicago Review Press; Auflage: 1 (1. Oktober 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00N6WPZ2C
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #1.007.522 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x91c36bf4) von 5 Sternen 23 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91c3e7f8) von 5 Sternen Pandora's DNA is both an incredibly personal story and a ... 24. November 2014
Von attimofuggenti - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Pandora's DNA is both an incredibly personal story and a medical history. Stark opens with the "family curse"--her mother's side of the family's battle against breast cancer. As she recounts generations of her family succumbing to this devastating disease, Stark also chronicles the advances in medical screening and surgery, from the draconian Halsted mastectomies to contemporary one-step mastectomy and reconstruction.

Though reading about these procedures and the traumatic effects is daunting, Stark's narration is deft and even-handed. She renders complicated genetics and lawsuits understandable to those of us lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the disease and the mutation of the BRCA gene, a mutation Stark learns she's inherited from her mother, who herself battled breast cancer when Stark was only an infant. She is forced to make a harrowing choice--live in constant fear in the shadow of breast cancer with regular invasive screenings, or suffer a double mastectomy, cutting off her healthy breasts in order to stave off the risk of early death. She chooses the latter, and leads us through each step of the way with grace and humor and honesty.

This book is informative, poignant, and telling--a must-read for any woman who's struggled or wondered about the specter of breast cancer.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91c3e84c) von 5 Sternen Couldn't put it down - compelling read 11. November 2014
Von Janell Sims - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A fascinating look at the history of cancer treatments, genetics, and the politics of gender, all told against the backdrop of a moving and very personal story of family and acceptance. Lizzie Stark explores themes of feminism and femininity, health and decorum, emotion and science while enlightening the reader on important issues still unresolved in the cancer treatment industry. Very highly recommended!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91c3ec84) von 5 Sternen Another Kind of Legacy 3. September 2015
Von Story Circle Book Reviews - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
When a journalist decides to record a difficult personal journey, the rest of us benefit in a multitude of ways. In Pandora's DNA: Tracing The Breast Cancer Genes Through History, Science And One Family Tree Lizzie Stark shares not only her personal story, but her journalist's search for all the facts and the backstory.

As she explores and explains the history of breast cancer and the evolution of its various treatments, Stark segues to stories of her grandmother's breast cancer experiences and those of her great aunts and their daughters. She relates the story of her mother's struggle with breast cancer and later radiation treatments for thyroid cancer. Small wonder that Stark thought she'd be dead in her early thirties.

Stark presents an in-depth review of the science and history of the search for specific disease-related genes in the human genome. She concentrates on the two genes most closely related to high probabilities for development of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2. It took nearly 20 years to hunt down the BRCA1 gene, the gene associated with the majority of inherited breast cancer cases. Because of technological advances during the intervening years it was possible to locate and clone BRCA2 just a year later.

Aside from the story of the search for the genes there is the story of the lab/corporation that held patents on those genes, the high price of genetic testing, questions about who owns or should own the genes and the procedures and who really benefits from that system. Even as a court case unfolded that eventually decided that human genetic material couldn't be patented, Stark showed the other side of the argument, describing the amount of time and money corporations sink into developing those procedures.

The cost of a genetic test for the breast cancer genes goes much deeper than any wallet, as Stark describes in her wrenching account. Not knowing is agony. Knowing, when the results are positive, is no relief.

As Angelina Jolie famously demonstrated, there is one option available that can ensure the least likelihood for carriers of breast cancer genes to develop the disease. Remove all breast tissue, healthy or not.

It is, however, an agonizing decision to make. To a young woman like Stark, who has not yet had children, it's not really about deciding "if," but is only about deciding "when." Unfortunately, the sooner the better is the generally the best answer. The choice then becomes: have a child now, when the plan was to wait a few years; or forgo having a biological child who may inherit the genes. A devoted and supportive husband and family was no small consideration in Stark's decision-making process. But the family history was certainly a galvanizing influence.

In the story of her search for the right surgical team, Stark included some of the interesting history of plastic surgery and a detailed description of the procedure she would undergo. She also didn't skimp on the emotional impact it had on her or on other women she spoke to who had experienced the same procedure.

This well researched and written personal story is informative and inspirational. It should be required reading for young women on the fence about mammography and breast exams. Just do it.

by Judy King
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91a8c06c) von 5 Sternen I highly recommend this book 2. Mai 2015
Von M - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This heartrending book deftly weaves the scientific history of the treatment of breast cancer into a personal family history of the disease. Lizzie grounds the larger facts and distant past in her actual lived experience. Anyone who has been touched by cancer will find this book deeply affecting. And Lizzie's ability to open up and share her own intimate experience with the BRCA gene testing and results is phenomenal. I highly recommend this book!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91a8c150) von 5 Sternen Compelling! 19. Dezember 2014
Von Julia Blank - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Stark's writing is crisp and compelling, and her personal story makes this a moving read. I'm only part of the way through and really enjoying this book. I'm also enjoying learning about scientific history and advances in such an accessible way.
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