FORCE Blog

This blog will cover topics of interest that affect our community. Unless otherwise stated, the blog articles will be written by Sue Friedman, Executive Director of FORCE.

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FORCE Blog

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FORCE Participates in The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

February 22, 2018

by Diane Rose There are large gaps in research, support, information, advocacy and resources for people with advanced breast cancer. People with metastatic breast cancer who also have an inherited mutation like BRCA or PALB2 face additional challenges associated with children and other relatives sharing the same hereditary cancer risk. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance … + read more

Why I Chose Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

February 7, 2018

by David Dessert I was diagnosed with stage 3 unresectable pancreatic cancer at age 48 after 5 months of ever-increasing back and abdominal pains. After a non-standard treatment with Gemzar/Cisplatin chemotherapy (because of my BRCA2 mutations), followed by chemoradiation, and 12 months later the removal of my pancreatic tumor, my surgeon told me that I … + read more

PARP Inhibitors and Hereditary Cancer: What’s New?

February 7, 2018

by Sue Friedman PARP inhibitors are drugs designed specifically to treat cancers in people with certain inherited mutations, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, among others. These drugs block an enzyme – known as PARP – used by cells to repair damage to their DNA. Although these agents seem to be most effective in people with mutations—not just … + read more

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

February 3, 2018

Some books and movies make us think.  Some make us laugh or cry. Some are educational and others are just plain fun.  And, then some do all of the above.  Below is a list of personal memoirs, self-help and reference books created to share information and stories of those who have experienced hereditary cancer. You … + read more

Book: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook 

February 1, 2018

 by Kathy Steligo I have more than a nodding acquaintance with breast cancer. Diagnosed twice, I’ve had seven biopsies, two lumpectomies, radiation therapy, sentinel node biopsy, genetic counseling, genetic testing, bilateral mastectomy, implant reconstruction, GAP reconstruction, fat grafting and multiple nipple and areola tattooing. Once I knew I was going to lose both my breasts, … + read more

Book: Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You

January 31, 2018

by Patricia Anstett Everyone asks: Why write another book about breast cancer? Well, turns out surgery and reconstruction options continue to be far less discussed and understood. Many women are so stunned by their breast cancer diagnosis they don’t take the time to ask for more information. And they look hard. There just aren’t a … + read more

Headline Hype: Why You Can’t Believe Everything You Read

January 17, 2018

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Our first “Headline Hype” blog post – published just a few days ago – addresses misleading information in a Newsweek article about recently published breast cancer research in Lancet Oncology. Now, it appears the media is on a roll. We were disturbed to learn about another media story focused on the same Lancet … + read more

Headline Hype: BRCA and Risk of Dying from Cancer

January 13, 2018

by Piri Welcsh, PhD An article published yesterday in Newsweek with the incredibly misleading title “A Gene That ‘Causes Cancer’ Probably Doesn’t Increase Your Chances of Dying from Cancer” created quite a social media stir.  This media story, and the research that it reports on, will be the subject of a future XRAYS article. We … + read more

The Cultural Chasm and Challenges of Being a Young Asian American Cancer Survivor

January 9, 2018

by Amy Wu In the aftermath of my cancer diagnosis and treatment, an advocate–at times raging and impatient—unexpectedly emerged. I consider myself an introvert, in some ways fitting into the stereotypes of the model Asian American—hardworking, obedient and conservative, but the close call with what I was convinced was death at the age of 37 … + read more

Where’s FORCE? Winter 2017

January 2, 2018

by Lisa Schlager Every month, FORCE staff and volunteers participate in a variety of conferences, workshops, steering committee meetings, and other activities on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. With the start of the New Year, we are launching our “Where’s FORCE” feature to keep you better informed about how and where FORCE represents the … + read more

Book: Understanding BRCA

December 12, 2017

by Clarissa Foster Three years ago, at the age of 35, I was found to carry a harmful mutation in the BRCA2 gene. I decided to undergo removal of both ovaries and tubes (known as a salpingo-oophorectomy) and a risk-reducing mastectomy to lower my risk of developing cancer. When it was established that I was … + read more

Why is Mommy Having Surgery, She Looks Ok to Me

November 20, 2017

By: Heather Barnard I wish the circumstances were different, but the fact of the matter is, I come from a long line of women with breast cancer. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all suffered from it. While my grandmother was able to beat the odds way back in 1966, my own mother was not; she passed … + read more

When Breast Cancer Treatment Ends: Thoughts On “Can Breast Cancer Come Back?” XRAYS Review

November 2, 2017

by Jennifer Hintz Note:  Jennifer’s story was submitted in response to our recent XRAY review published July 2017: Can Breast Cancer Come Back? If you have would like to submit a blog post related to one of our XRAYS articles, please contact medhas@facingourrisk.org. I was thrilled to finally hear the words from my oncologist: “You’ve done … + read more

No Longer Alone: 1000 People Benefit from Personalized Cancer Risk Support

October 23, 2017

by Sandy Cohen Unfortunately, my story is not that uncommon. I’m a motherless daughter. I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 26 years old. And she lost her mom to the disease before she graduated high school. This all occurred before the BRCA1 mutation was even discovered. Today, thanks to FORCE’s programs, … + read more

Patients Weigh In On Review of PARP Inhibitors for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

October 12, 2017

by Jill Holdren Last month on September 14th, Lisa Schlager, FORCE VP of Public Policy, and I went to St. Louis, Missouri to give comments at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER)[1] meeting on the clinical effectiveness and value of PARP inhibitors in the treatment of ovarian cancer. The meeting was one of … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

Our helpline offers peer support for people concerned about hereditary cancer. All calls are confidential. Call any time.

Join a Local Group

FORCE has outreach groups throughout the United States and in Essex, United Kingdom that meet periodically to offer peer support, and share resources.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered