Come learn about genetic testing in St. John’s

Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) aims to help young adults move through and beyond their cancer diagnosis and experience, but we have also gotten to know some people who have been through preemptive genetic testing.

Genetic testing identifies a person’s chances of developing certain cancers. Individuals are then faced with deciding what they are going to do with the information–be it surgeries or lifestyle changes–and the ramifications that could come along with one’s choices.

The Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s will be participating in Genetic Counselling Awareness Week from November 20-25. The week’s festivities will include a screening of In The Family.

Joanna Rudnick was 27 years old when her doctor told her she had a 85 per cent lifetime chance of developing breast cancer and a 60 per cent lifetime chance of developing ovarian cancer.  She had to decide if she would have surgery to remove her breasts and ovaries rendering her infertile, or take her chances without the surgeries.

She decided to film her struggle to show people what a person goes through once they are left to decide what a positive test means for the rest of their lives. It is especially poignant from a young person’s persepective because she was single, hadn’t yet had children, and started carrying this weight on her shoulders.

Want to go?

For those of you who would like to see the film, or who are interested in genetic testing, go to the Health Sciences Centre at 7:30 p.m. on November 22. Admission is free.

There will be a Q & A discussion with local genetics counsellors after the film.