Control of Your Genetic Inheritance

Oncologist Theodora Ross delivers the first comprehensive guide for people facing a genetic predisposition for cancer.  Based on her belief that knowing is better than not knowing, and that clarity is better than confusion, Ross steadfastly shows that there are options for cancer prevention and risk management that put you in control, not the cancer.



Theodora Ross, M.D., Ph.D., holds the Jeanne Ann Plitt Professorship in Breast Cancer Research and the H. Ben and Isabelle T. Decherd Chair in Internal Medicine, in Honor of Henry M. Winans, Sr., M.D. at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She specializes in oncology and cancer genetics.



There are many survivors, previvors and thrivers. Here are a few of their stories:

  • Alfred G. Knudson

  • Gilda Radner

  • Rosalind Franklin

  • Henry T. Lynch

  • Christina Applegate

  • Angelina Jolie



To Test or Not to Test, That is the Question – 5/05/17

Our expert voices conversation on genetic testing for cancer.

Most people who have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to cancer don’t know it. They also aren’t aware they could act on that knowledge and make choices that could save their life. A seemingly ideal solution would be to make cancer genetic tests a primary care routine for all adults.

Here’s the problem: Genetic testing is imperfect and genetic care is still in its infancy.

  • Patients may think one normal test means they won’t get cancer. But genetics is evolving and test results are predictions that are frequently under revision.
  • There currently aren’t enough genetic counselors to communicate what we know – and don’t know – about test results and we’re not close to meeting demand.
  • Fear of discrimination by insurance companies or employers can stop patients from agreeing to routine genetic analysis.

A real solution: Prevention. Gain knowledge of your family’s cancer history. Stop smoking. Limit how much alcohol you drink. Exercise regularly. Get vaccinated.

Bottom line: Even without knowing our genetic test result, we can make concrete choices to help avert a future cancer.

The other voices in the conversation:

Copyright 2017. Theodora Ross. All Rights Reserved