Genetic Testing and Breast Cancer
Is a Little Knowledge a Dangerous Thing?
In this dilemma case, the central character, Kathy, must decide whether or not to be tested for known mutations in the breast cancer genes. Students assume the roles of members of Kathy’s book club and, using a jigsaw technique, explore the advantages and disadvantages of genetic testing. This case is appropriate for courses that deal with genetics, bioinformatics, biology of cancer, disease prevention, or ethical decision-making.
- Formulate and defend a decision for or against genetic testing, taking into consideration various kinds of information, for a particular individual.
- Analyze genetic testing and its role in maintaining health.
- Examine disease prevention strategies, including diet, exercise, and stress reduction.
- Critique the effect of obtaining genetic information on employment and health insurance and on personal decisions.
- Calculate the impact of obtaining genetic information on families, medical knowledge, and society.
KeywordsGenetic testing; genetic screening; DNA analysis; breast cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; lifestyle choices; bioethics
Topical AreasEthics, Legal issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDilemma/Decision, Jig-Saw, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsGenetics / Heredity | Bioinformatics | Biology (General) | Medicine (General) |
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