SHOULD I TEST MY GENES? The Price of Life, BBC2, 9pm, 5th July

Last year, after my mother died of cancer that she seemed to have inherited from her mother I set out to discover if I also had this familial cancer gene, or any other gene that might impact on my health.

To understand why I might want to know I met other patients who have already discovered they have bad genes. Julie’s mother and sister both have cancer, and she is facing the terrible choice of having adouble mastectomy so that she can prevent herself from going the sameway.

One of the most extraordinary benefits of the brave new world ofgenetics is called Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Tracy and Thomas are in the midst of the process, screening embryos in order toprevent a gene mistake from being passed down the generations. Will the wonder of science deliver a healthy baby?

A few hundred couples go through PGD every year on the NHS? But there are millions of people in Britain who inherit diseased genes: is the NHS serving then? I reveal that if the NHS tracked through the families of patients with a disease called FamilialHypocholesterolemia then the nation could save thousands of people from suffering, and money which could be diverted to other patients inneed.

In the end, this is a film about whether or not I have any inherited genes? Morever, even if I do can the secrets of our blood foretell our destiny, and even if they could would it be worth knowing?

The BBC Webpage about it is here.


Follow me on Twitter: @adam_wishart

Join the Discussion: #testmygenes 

Add comments below.