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FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.

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Newsflash

2/22/17
FORCE participated in NCI's “Approaches to Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations: The Case of Lynch Syndrome" Workshop.
More details...

2/21/17
FORCE submitted comments in support of Medicare coverage of comprehensive genetic profiling for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Read more...

1/19/17
FDA launches Oncology Center of Excellence as part of the National Cancer Moonshot initiative. 

12/21/16
The FDA approved AeroForm, a new tissue expander for women undergoing breast reconstruction. Learn more...

Current Issues

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Insurance Coverage & Barriers

Hereditary Cancer Health Care Report

President’s Executive Order Provides Broad Directives That Could Weaken ACA

The day after his inauguration, one of Trump’s first official actions as President was to sign an executive order to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Affordable Care Act.” Presidents use executive orders to give federal agencies direction on how to enforce laws. In this case, the order instructs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to use their existing powers to weaken ACA “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

In essence, the order changes nothing immediately. Most of the provisions in the ACA can’t be changed by the president or HHS; they require action from Congress or a lengthy public comment period. Importantly, the executive order has no impact on coverage for those with preexisting conditions and other provisions outlined in ACA

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

Election 2016 Update

Members of the FORCE community have reached out with questions and concerns about the implications of the recent election. See our statement on the impact of the 2016 election for people affected by hereditary cancer and our December 2016 blog to learn how the change in administration may affect you and your family. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months.

Have concerns about health insurance? Coverage for pre-existing conditions? Caps on out-of-pocket health care expenditures? We encourage you to call or email your elected officials to tell them what's important to you. Contact info for your current members of Congress can be found at 
www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

FORCE Supports Oral Chemotherapy Parity Initiatives

Oral chemotherapy is becoming more common and is the standard of care for many types of cancer. Oral treatment also accounts for about a third of the oncology development pipeline. Importantly, many oral anti-cancer medications do not have IV or injected alternatives, and are the only option for some patients. For this reason, these medications must be as affordable as their IV counterparts. FORCE is supporting the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, a national legislative initiative which strives to create equal insurance coverage of patient administered and physician administered cancer treatments.

Screening & Prevention

Ovarian Cancer Screening for High-Risk Women

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. An estimated 20% of these cancers are due to hereditary factors such as a BRCA genetic mutation. Women with inherited predispositions face greatly increased risk of this, and possibly other cancers. A number of tests have been evaluated as screening methods for early stage ovarian cancer but none have proven reliable. In September 2016, the FDA released a Safety Communication recommending against the use of ovarian cancer screening tests. FORCE responded with a letter to the FDA and an official statement on the issue.

Screening & Prevention

Breast Mammograms for Women Under Age 50 Preserved

In early 2016 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new breast cancer screening guidelines which recommended raising the minimum age for annual screening mammograms for “average risk” women to 50. If implemented, women between the ages of 40 and 49 would likely lose access to yearly breast screening mammography. FORCE was a leader in efforts to curtail the proposed guidelines, preserving 100% insurance coverage of this lifesaving cancer screening for all women starting at age 40.

Genetic Testing & Counseling

Clarification Includes Survivors in BRCA Screening Guidelines

The USPSTF BRCA-Related Cancer: Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing Guidelines are used to determine who is eligible for BRCA genetic counseling and testing with no out-of-pocket costs under the Affordable Care Act. These recommendations were initially interpreted to apply only to women with a family cancer history consistent with the USPSTF criteria, who have not been diagnosed with cancer. In 2015, a clarification was issued indicating that these guidelines also apply to women who have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian, or other cancers. 

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