Links & Books


In the Family Filmmaker Website
Visit the official website for In the Family and learn more about the film and the issues it explores. The site features extensive resources on hereditary cancer and genetic testing, as well as a blog.

Kartemquin Films
For more than 40 years, Kartemquin Films has been producing independent documentary films that aim to open a dialogue within communities, and between the general public and policymakers. In the Family is a Kartemquin Films production.

The Independent: "Living With a Mutation"
The Independent interviews In the Family filmmaker Joanna Rudnick about making a film about living with the breast cancer gene. (September 2008)

The Huffington Post: Stand Up to Cancer: My Story
Joanna Rudnick blogs about Stand Up to Cancer, the network television special (broadcast on September 5, 2008) dedicated to raising money for cancer research. (September 2008)

Chicago Magazine: The Deadly Difference
Shane Tritsch writes that in 2003, the mortality rate for women with breast cancer "was 68 percent higher for African American women in Chicago than for white women, even though blacks were less likely to get the disease." The article features Martha Haley, one of women featured in In the Family, and her work with Celebrating Life, a breast cancer support group she founded for African American women in Chicago. (October 2007)


Cancer and the BRCA Gene

National Cancer Institute
The website of this division of the National Institutes of Health is a good place to find research and track legislation. This fact sheet offers information about the BRCA gene and BRCA testing as well as the options for those who test positive.

American Cancer Society
The website of the American Cancer Society provides information designed for the general public as well as links to support services.

Support Services

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
Mentioned by Joanna in In the Family, FORCE is a support network that provides a wide range of information and networking opportunities for women facing cancer, including online message boards and chat rooms, as well as information and advocacy initiatives specifically related to hereditary cancers.

Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
This organization offers resources geared specifically toward young people. Its website provides support opportunities for youth whose lives have been touched by cancer, including help in dealing with family and friends who have the disease.

Be Bright Pink
Bright Pink is a support group and resource for young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers. The site connects women to peer support networks and offers a wealth of educational information about breast and ovarian cancers for young women.


BRCA and Ethnic Groups

Breast Cancer Genetic Testing Awareness for Jewish Women, Jacob International
One out of 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation that raises their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer by the age of 40. Jacob International is an organization aimed at raising awareness of testing and supporting BRCA-positive Jewish women.

Chicago Center for Jewish Genetic Disorders
This organization focuses on the genetic health of individuals and families in the Jewish community while also providing general cancer genetics information.

"BRCA1 More Prevalent Among Hispanic and Young African American Women", Medical University of South Carolina
This article highlights a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identifying higher rates of BRCA1 among Hispanic and young African American women. (March 2008)

Genetic Counseling and Research

National Society of Genetic Counselors
The website of this professional organization includes everything a person needs in order to find a genetic counselor, including definitions and characteristics of a good counselor as well as a search tool to find a member of the organization near you.

Informed Medical Decisions, Inc. (INFORMED)
INFORMED offers telephone-based genetic counseling services providing comprehensive genetic counseling by Board-Certified genetic counselors to individuals and families at risk for hereditary cancer. Many individuals and families at risk for hereditary cancer do not have local access to these genetic experts.  INFORMED provides comprehensive genetic counseling, discussion of genetic testing options, coordination of genetic testing (when appropriate) with the individuals personal physician and follow-up that includes formal recommendations for cancer screening and risk reduction.

National Office of Public Health Genomics: Family History Tool
The Centers for Disease Control offer this tool to help individuals use their family history to understand and improve their own health.

National Human Genome Research Institute
The website of the NHGRI brings together the results of gene-mapping efforts. It includes general information, research updates, policies governing the ethics of genetic testing and much more.

Genetic Alliance
This coalition of more than 600 groups provides advocacy for people with genetic conditions. The website includes a wide range of organizing tools and resources, including "Understanding Genetics: A Guide for Patients and Professionals," available as free downloads and a unique wiki for people to share experiences and information about genetic disorders, legislation and more.

Pretty Is What Changes by Jessica Queller
Shortly after television writer Jessica Queller's mother died of ovarian cancer, Queller had herself tested for the BRCA genetic mutation. Her book, Pretty Is What Changes takes the reader along on her journey through genetic testing and wonders: Will the knowledge that can potentially save our lives by testing our genes cost us our own innocence and peace of mind?


NewsHour: "Pre-emptive Strike"
Some women who face a high risk of breast cancer are having preventive mastectomies even though their breast tissue shows no sign of disease. Now a new study has found that preventive mastectomies reduce the chance of developing breast cancer by 90 percent. NewsHour health correspondent Susan Dentzer reports on this effective, if dramatic, procedure. (February 18, 1999)

Nova: Cracking the Code of Life
This two-hour special, hosted by ABC Nightline correspondent Robert Krulwich, chronicles the race to capture one of the biggest prizes in scientific history: the complete letter-by-letter sequence of genetic information that defines human life -- the human genome. (April 2001)

Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly: "Ethics of Genetic Testing"
As a result of the Human Genome Project, we are now able to locate genetic mutations and know much more about a person's medical future than ever before. This new knowledge has given rise to many medical, legal and ethical questions. (August 31, 2001)

Take One Step: The Truth About Cancer
What is the truth about cancer? Is it the same deadly killer it was 30 years ago -- or are we making progress? Find out through the poignant stories of patients battling the disease. Written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Linda Garmon, "The Truth About Cancer" takes a deep look inside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old war and asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?" (April 2008)

NPR Stories

Talk of the Nation: "Genetic Marker Linked to Breast Cancer"
Researchers have discovered a genetic marker that, if present, indicates a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women with the variation in their DNA are 1.4 times more likely to develop breast cancer during their lifetimes than women whose genes do not contain the marker. (March 7, 2008)

Talk of the Nation: "Examining Genetic Link to Breast Cancer Risk"
Some researchers say the risk of breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations has been overstated. This Talk of the Nation segment looks at the controversy surrounding breast cancer genes and breast cancer risk. (January 14, 2005)