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NPR Health

'Pretty' Chronicles Drastic Steps to Prevent Cancer

Jessica Queller was a young writer working at her dream job on a hit television show in Los Angeles when her beautiful, vibrant mother died — of ovarian cancer.

Queller took a genetic test and found that she was positive for a gene mutation known as the breast cancer gene, or "BRCA." That meant she had nearly a 90 percent chance of getting breast cancer, and a strong chance of getting ovarian cancer.

Queller had a decision to make. She could be vigilant about testing and monitoring herself, hoping to catch any cancer early, or she could have her breasts and possibly her ovaries removed before she ever developed the disease.

She talks with Renee Montagne about her new book, Pretty Is What Changes, which chronicles her decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy.

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