Life, Love, and the BRCA Mutation
Tuesday at 12:00pm PDT
Eleven months after her mother succumbs to cancer, Jessica Queller has herself tested for the BRCA gene mutation. The results come back positive, putting her at a terrifyingly elevated risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 50 and ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Thirty-four, unattached, and yearning for marriage and a family of her own, Queller faces an agonizing choice: a lifetime of vigilant screenings and a commitment to fight the disease when caught, or its radical alternative—a prophylactic double mastectomy that would effectively restore life to her, even as it would challenge her most closely held beliefs about body image, identity, and sexuality. Jessica offers insights from her journey and shares helpful tools on how to educate yourself, get tested, and share this lifesaving information with your loved ones.
One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews – both men and women – carries a BRCA gene mutation, nearly 10 times the rate of the general population, making Jewish families significantly more susceptible to hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Recent studies show that Sephardic Jews may also be genetically predisposed to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. If you or someone in your family has tested BRCA+, whether you have been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, Sharsheret can help.
This program is delivered in partnership with American Jewish University and Sharsheret.
Jessica Queller is the author of the acclaimed memoir Pretty is What, which chronicles her journey of inheriting a BRCA1 mutation from her mother. Jessica has written Op-Ed pieces on the subject for both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Jessica has spoken about BRCA extensively on television and radio, and is a proud member of Basser Center for BRCA’s Advisory Board. Jessica is also a television writer/producer and has written for many shows that include Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Vegas, The Carrie Diaries. Most recently, she was the showrunner for the long running CW show Supergirl. Jessica lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Bill Prady, daughter Sophie Queller, and stepson Asher Prady.