At the age of 35 and following the death of her mother from ovarian cancer, Clarissa Foster was found to carry a harmful mutation in the BRCA2 gene which drastically increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
She searched for a book that would help her to understand the full extent of what it meant to carry a harmful mutation, the options available to her to lower her risk and, most importantly, how it would feel to undergo risk-reducing surgery.
Finding nothing that answered her needs, she set about reading all the available medical literature and liaising with relevant medical professionals to answer her questions.
This book is the result of that research and of the decision she took based on it - to have a bilateral mastectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy.
Within the context of her own painful experience of family cancer and of elective surgery, Clarissa explains what the BRCA mutation is, what it signifies, what the individual's choices are and what the fall out can be in terms of a woman's body image, identity and sexual functioning.
In recognition of the book's power to help people with a diagnosed or suspected BRCA mutation, it was Highly Commended in the 2018 BMA Book Awards and Clarissa received the Beryl Bainbridge First-time Author Award in 2019.