Cancer, Alzheimer's — our genes decide | DW Documentary (science documentary)

  • Published: 16 September 2019
  • Some diseases wait like ticking time bombs in our genes or genetic blueprints. Gene mutations might mean that we have a greater risk of getting Alzheimer’s or cancer, for instance. But how do we cope psychologically with this knowledge about our genes? And do we really have no control over this ‘master plan’?

    We live in an age in which gene tests are becoming cheaper and more widespread and scientists are discovering more and more risk factors. But do we always want to know what fate might befall us?
    We meet Jana whose fate seems to be sealed because she has a rare inherited disorder, cerebellar degeneration. Doctors hold out little hope. Yet Jana has surprised everyone with her will to live.
    Katrin also knows that she has a potentially fatal genetic disorder. She was 35 when she detected a lump in her breast. She subsequently discovered that she has a gene mutation that greatly increases her risk of getting cancer. But Katrin refuses to let her life be ruled by statistics.
    Stefan doesn’t know anything about his genetic baggage yet. The architect is allowing researchers to analyze his own genetic building blocks, his DNA, as part of Germany’s biggest health study.
    The aim of the project is to identify genetic risk factors in our genome together with lifestyle risks and help to prevent disease before it happens. But don’t studies like these carry their own dangers?


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Comments • 123

  • Nicole Wojaczyk
    Nicole Wojaczyk  1 months back

    All these diseases are coming from somewhere could anyone maybe think it’s caused when we get vaccines and how those vaccines mess around with our genes? And then the poison in foods we eat. A family loves n grows in the same area so if they are eating the same foods wouldn’t they get the same gene disease? Like rectum cancer like the 35 year old woman in this documentary.

    • For Real
      For Real  2 months back

      Sadly you can't make people get off their butt and exercise.. or eat healthy... sooooo.. genetics is not evweything

      • Cop Loo
        Cop Loo  2 months back

        As I once read "Gene is only the gun... And you pull the trigger".

        • catherine birch
          catherine birch  3 months back

          I took a test with 23and me last year and regret it. What I found out scared the living daylights out of me. I`m still scared. I wish that I had never opened that can of worms.

          • Cycle-In
            Cycle-In  3 months back

            If genes decide disease then why some so prevalent today. Honestly can't take things at face-value when we're sold products with known ill-effects. We have unhealthy life and mother-nature is getting sick with us. In past I did face health-issues which got fixed when corrected my life-style. Without fixing root-cause new products being pushed?

            • Bullminator
              Bullminator  4 months back

              One future that will happen and it cannot be avoided:*Badly genetic babys will get instant killed and only those with perfect ones will be left alive.
              Also one thing i want to mention, but .. sun --) radiation --) mutation --) cancer.

              • Truck Taxi
                Truck Taxi  4 months back

                In the future people will change their genes like they change their jeans.

              • YoshiPeach Mario
                YoshiPeach Mario  4 months back

                removing fundamental parts of what make you human, and in this case a woman, just because there's a higher risk that you might get cancer, is crazy. Sure you can remove all the things that are high risk, but then you're just a mutilated shell who cannot have a family.

                • Lewis Moore
                  Lewis Moore  4 months back

                  so epi genetics?

                  • nelson carreiro
                    nelson carreiro  4 months back

                    yes . but when we become aware of the real truth. You will discover that we decide. Our genes obey the master. U will learn this soon enough in time . Namaste

                    • philsaspiezone
                      philsaspiezone  4 months back

                      placebo effect, the opposite effect to placebo is the nocebo effect

                      • Sook Wilson
                        Sook Wilson  4 months back

                        This just assure me to live my life to the fullest, and Keep up with a healthy diet + lifestyle , and to travel the world while I'm physically able

                        • TubeBrasil
                          TubeBrasil  4 months back

                          The problem with any health test is false positives and the subsequent application of unnecessary treatment that can do harm.
                          The science is not 100% understood.

                          • Alex
                            Alex  4 months back

                            Your statement is very vague.

                        • Dark Soul
                          Dark Soul  4 months back

                          Iana is amazing 😊 Hope her a long long healthier life 👍❤
                          Catherine too ... 😊❤
                          Knowing about your genetics can avoid so many problems ...
                          Still, we're not subject to mutations only because of our parents or lifestyle ...
                          Human recklessness ... Atomic radiation, fertilizers, food industry ...
                          That's why a genetic checkup should be mandatory in the future, because illness rates are not going to go down at all ...

                          • Milla Heska
                            Milla Heska  4 months back

                            These drawings in sand.. Amazing!

                            • Laura Brooks
                              Laura Brooks  4 months back

                              O, I would be getting a plan for check-out time.

                              • Rudy Amid
                                Rudy Amid  4 months back

                                Ignorance is bliss - sometimes.

                                • Sabine Hennig
                                  Sabine Hennig  4 months back

                                  I dont agree with those tests. You already born and you can program your mind and your childs with the knowladge. If you dont know the risk of getting sick is sooooooooo much smaller.

                                  • Tide Kiosk
                                    Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                    Without the gene test, I would not have reached out for and accepted treatment for Huntington's Disease. The diagnoses made me cry, but it also made me want to fight.

                                    • Tide Kiosk
                                      Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                      ​@1MinuteFlipDoc The VA paid Stanford hospital in Palo Alto California for the test.

                                    • 1MinuteFlipDoc
                                      1MinuteFlipDoc  4 months back

                                      where did you get the gene test? doctor? on your own?

                                  • JUrtans channel
                                    JUrtans channel  4 months back

                                    Right now I have question about some oldies, who haven't had need to go to doctors etc. that often, just by curiosity I wonder if they also have ill genes and what probability they have to get cancer or smth else, just so people dont cut out from them what ever they can to reduce possible probability and if they find people who have had high probability for 80 years, what they have done and what genes are different from those who have had problems, maybe there is a better solution than just waiting and cutting!

                                    • --
                                      --  4 months back

                                      In some ways we are altering evolution by passing on genes that would have killed the host in the past due to the advance in our medical technology. Is it wrong to not wanting to date someone you knew that had cancer or some forms of hereditary disease? Not knowing what awaits for us in the future makes it extra tricky...

                                      • keanoa kiro
                                        keanoa kiro  4 months back

                                        Gene between Dystopian and Utopian...

                                        • Steve Pimblett
                                          Steve Pimblett  4 months back

                                          And the main use of genetic testing for health conditions? For insurance companies to deny payouts.

                                          • For Real
                                            For Real  2 months back

                                            Yep my first thought.. $$$

                                        • Laura Z
                                          Laura Z  4 months back

                                          A bunch of very strange comments here....

                                          • Laura Z
                                            Laura Z  4 months back

                                            A bunch of very strange comments here....

                                            • Mgtowski
                                              Mgtowski  4 months back

                                              Life is a genetic disorder. Do the best that you can with what you have. Listen, learn, and be kind and humble.

                                              • Tide Kiosk
                                                Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                                I have Huntington's Disease and I wouldn't wish my life on anyone.

                                            • Clark Richard Bueno
                                              Clark Richard Bueno  4 months back

                                              I think..... these abnormalities or defects will Be our complications once we are diagnosed on such diseases.. And it is our predispositions in life, i mean it predisposes our health.

                                              • NJA1039
                                                NJA1039  4 months back

                                                Great to explore this issue before it has wider societal impact. Check out this article on the topic as well

                                                • x
                                                  x  4 months back

                                                  What is the difference between DNA and genes?

                                                  • Tide Kiosk
                                                    Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                                    None, it's a word choice.

                                                  • bircruz555
                                                    bircruz555  4 months back

                                                    A simple way to look at it, Genes describe the whole genetic material. DNA relates to sub-groups of genes. For instance, it can be Autosomal DNA (not a sex chromosome), Y-chromosome DNA, a male chromosome; or Mitochondrial DNA (Mt-DNA), a female chromosome.

                                                    "There are two copies of each autosome (chromosomes 1–22) in both females
                                                    and males. The sex chromosomes are different: There are two copies of
                                                    the X-chromosome in females, but males have a single X-chromosome and a
                                                    Y-chromosome." Wikipedia

                                                • Lisboa Horizonte
                                                  Lisboa Horizonte  4 months back

                                                  Health is just a temporary state... always. All those genetic mutations is Nature ensuring we do not stick around for too long, imagine the state of the world if we would, a nightmare.

                                                  • 1MinuteFlipDoc
                                                    1MinuteFlipDoc  4 months back

                                                    living in a 1st world consumption based world, it would be bad. otherwise, we could be doing what humans were truly meant to be and do. custodians of the earth, stars, explorers not bound by previous human lifetimes. i would vote for that.

                                                • Coco Jumbo
                                                  Coco Jumbo  4 months back

                                                  Germany is going downhill with all these low iq imigrants they imported over the past 50 years, many of them are inbreds.
                                                  If you dont practice eugenics you have disgenics, quality of genes going down.

                                                  Its funny how we practice selective breeding with animals and plants but somehow its bad to improve human race, maybe big pharma and elites wants more sick and dumb people so its easy to rule over them while they secretly practice eugenics

                                                  • catherine birch
                                                    catherine birch  3 months back


                                                  • bircruz555
                                                    bircruz555  4 months back

                                                    People would be advised not to get your genes! What is you IQ, and what have you achieved on your own?

                                                • manven yad
                                                  manven yad  4 months back

                                                  Gene needs a bigger pool.

                                                  • yahwehsonren
                                                    yahwehsonren  4 months back

                                                    Eat Sabah snake grass

                                                    • yahwehsonren
                                                      yahwehsonren  4 months back

                                                      @Coco Jumbo i not sell.i plant for my self

                                                    • Coco Jumbo
                                                      Coco Jumbo  4 months back

                                                      U selling? How much

                                                  • Josephat Kibet
                                                    Josephat Kibet  4 months back

                                                    Why all the sick in this video are women?

                                                    • putmyname ontheinternet?
                                                      putmyname ontheinternet?  4 months back

                                                      I’m sorry to laugh at this tidbit but:
                                                      Doctor: “Your cerebellum is shrinking.”
                                                      Lady: “Ok, but I’m in charge now.”

                                                      • Tide Kiosk
                                                        Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                                        If I wasn't diagnosed I would've refused all of the treatments.

                                                    • John's Life
                                                      John's Life  4 months back

                                                      As usual, another excellent documentary from DW. The sand art was extraordinary. Thank you very much.

                                                      • Sven
                                                        Sven  4 months back

                                                        Too bad ppl here cannot come to the final conclusion (for all human problems, not just this one): if you don't have children: all future problems solved.

                                                        • Jane CK.
                                                          Jane CK.  4 months back

                                                          An excellent video, very informative, thanks for posting it.

                                                          • Dadson worldwide
                                                            Dadson worldwide  4 months back

                                                            Sure evolution is due a bottle neck if you look back at history.
                                                            We will evolve to adjust woth Climate change soon orolly be able to breathe less oxygen so maybe we can also shake some of these defects.

                                                            • HardWarUK
                                                              HardWarUK  4 months back

                                                              DW - the professionals.....

                                                              • TheLaudur
                                                                TheLaudur  4 months back

                                                                People get lots of new weird modern diseases that did not exist 100 years ago, "doctors": "Your genes are the fault"

                                                                • gowtham pennapati
                                                                  gowtham pennapati  4 months back

                                                                  Human race should come away from economic model of living and economising the water ,food basic needs and live in ecological model of living then all the diseases go away and even a fever doesn't attack to single human till they exist and life span drastically increases average goes to 100

                                                                  • gowtham pennapati
                                                                    gowtham pennapati  4 months back

                                                                    Cancer is caused by modern day human food habits not by the genes human race existed on earth since 100000 years ago there were no such cancers even in the animals there are no cancers cancers are due to modren man's chemically grown food habits not by the genes.

                                                                    • gowtham pennapati
                                                                      gowtham pennapati  4 months back

                                                                      @Xenia8982what science says is not true for ever it changes if the new theory comes hence science itself is false thing.
                                                                      The truth never changes as the science changes its not true also the science is not understand by all the people as it's goes on changing .

                                                                    • Xenia8982
                                                                      Xenia8982  4 months back

                                                                      I think you don't know what you're talking about. Every animal on earth can get cancer and it's been like this since forever. It's true that because of the negative changes in the environment and diet cancer rates have sky rocketed but that doesn't change the fact that cancer has been with us all the time. Humans in the past didn't live even half as long as we do so they didn't have as much time to develop tumors. They still had genetic mutations just not as much. Don't spread misinformation. Science is facts.

                                                                  • Pem Thinley
                                                                    Pem Thinley  4 months back

                                                                    Thanks guys.. you are doing some amazing work and more than anything thing, you guys have made knowledge free and accessible to many individuals... 🇧🇹

                                                                    • Julian Alexander
                                                                      Julian Alexander  4 months back

                                                                      Wonderful documentary channel. Thanks for your great work and thanks again for making them available to everyone for free.

                                                                      • NGH NGH
                                                                        NGH NGH  4 months back

                                                                        Introduce Coconut Oil into your diet Plan.

                                                                        • Kerry Li
                                                                          Kerry Li  4 months back

                                                                          Honestly I would not want to take any gene test because I don’t like to live in the shadow of my ill-fated future if there’s any genetic disorder. I prefer to live one day at a time and enjoy life while I can!

                                                                          • A M
                                                                            A M  4 months back

                                                                            Well but what if you one of those people who work 10hrs a day to accomplish something in the future which will be very unlikely for you to access because of an illness which could have been pre-detected?

                                                                          • Tide Kiosk
                                                                            Tide Kiosk  4 months back

                                                                            My HD diagnoses has allowed me to take care of myself now, and plan for the future. Denial is not your friend!

                                                                        • braingain1
                                                                          braingain1  4 months back

                                                                          Excellent vid Danke schon