Real Life Stories

When 27-year-old Selena Martinez was told she had Lynch syndrome — a genetic disease that can cause a host of cancers — she decided to turn bad news into something positive. Read more...
"Have you ever seen a relative go through the cancer process?"This is the first question San Francisco writer Doreen DeSalvo poses when asked whether she regrets getting tested — and testing positive — for Lynch syndrome. Read more...
In the summer of 1993, when Elaine Taylor, a mother of three, was in the middle of pursuing a lifelong dream getting a college degree in English literature at the University of California, Berkeley she received some devastating news: she had advanced ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. Read more...
Ruth had survived numerous primary cancers, most of them life-threatening, when a new oncologist noted a pattern in her medical history and suggested she investigate genetic testing. Read more...
When Larry learned he had colon cancer at age 30, the diagnosis came as a shock for the young, active father of two. The only other incidence of cancer he was aware of in his family was his mother's uterine cancer, which had been successfully treated years earlier. Read more...
Jan and her family knew there must be some connection between the many incidences of cancer in their family. Her father had been diagnosed with colon cancer at age 39 (and later also with bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer); her older sister was diagnosed with uterine cancer at age 38; and, Jan herself was diagnosed with uterine cancer at age 50. Read more...
Rachel learned early that cancer played a prominent, and deadly, role in her family. Her grandfather passed away when she was four years old, a result of what family at that time—roughly 70 years ago—called stomach cancer, but which Rachel now believes was likely colon cancer. Read more...