Alexandra Nichipor: Religion and the BRCA Mutation

IT WAS A COLD DAY in January, not long before my 22nd birthday, and I was looking out at the Boston cityscape after receiving my genetic test results. I called my boyfriend and tried to be lighthearted about it. “Hey, I just found out I’m the most boring member of the X-men.”

My genetic counselor had explained my BRCA2 mutation to me carefully. “Sometimes cells divide incorrectly, and when this process goes unchecked, a person can develop cancer. We each have a number of genes that put a stop to this process. One of them is called BRCA2.” She held up two hands “Every person is born with two copies of each BRCA gene. They control signals that say ‘stop’ to rogue cells.” She put one hand down. “But you were born with a flaw in one of your BRCA2 genes, so it doesn’t work.”



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