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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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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

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

October 25, 2017

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

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

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

September 20, 2017

by Laura Esserman, MD Breast cancer screening today: A groundbreaking breast cancer screening study is underway in California and you may be eligible to be a part of it.  It’s called the Wisdom Study.  The aim is to determine if we can make screening better by personalizing each woman’s mammogram schedule, compared to the current … + read more

Insurance Coverage for Clinical Trial Participation: Significant Barriers Remain

September 19, 2017

by Lisa Schlager It is estimated that less than 5% of adults with cancer enroll in clinical trials. About a fifth of adult cancer clinical trials fail to recruit enough participants to complete the research.[1] These two facts hinder the development of better, safer methods to treat and prevent cancer. To help improve this situation, … + read more

100th XRAYS: 5 Lessons We Have Learned

August 22, 2017

by Lisa Rezende, PhD and Julie Huynh, MS Today we celebrate the publication of our 100th XRAYS review. It’s amazing to think how the program we developed over the past three years has grown to serve over 70,000 people affected by breast cancer. We knew the need was there. We saw how catchy headlines like … + read more

Working with Industry to Increase Patient Engagement in Drug Development

August 17, 2017

by Lisa Schlager Historically, the only role for patients in cancer research was as a subject enrolled in a clinical trial. Research generally focused exclusively on outcomes such as overall survival and neglected to account for variables such as side effects and quality of life. Engaging patients as advisors in research—reviewing study design, informed consent … + read more

Why I Asked My Mom to Undergo Genetic Testing After Her Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

July 25, 2017

by Lisa Rezende, PhD When my mom was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 55 in 2001, there were many reasons why she didn’t pursue genetic testing. National guidelines didn’t automatically recommend genetic counseling and/or testing. My family history was limited. While my grandmother had breast cancer, she was diagnosed after menopause, … + read more

Chemo and Hair Loss Is More Than a Vanity Issue

June 1, 2017

by Sue Friedman I was happy to read the XRAYS report on research about scalp cooling to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Chemo-related hair loss is more than merely an inconvenience during cancer treatment. My own experience as a young breast cancer survivor on chemotherapy convinced me of this. I was 33 when I was … + read more

Science and the Media: Help vs. Hype

May 18, 2017

by Piri Welcsh, PhD and Sue Friedman, DVM When making medical decisions, getting information right is more important than getting it fast. This is especially true for our community, when results of a genetic test or a breast biopsy can add a sense of urgency to medical decision-making. But finding factual data or input—help, not … + read more

The Lights of May

May 14, 2017

Special note: In honor of Mother’s Day 2017, and my son, Beau’s graduation which is next week, I’m recycling this post that I wrote in 2012. This post is as relevant as when I wrote it 5 years ago. I have yet to see a firefly in Tampa but tonight I will look extra hard. … + read more

Fueling Patient-Focused Health Care

May 11, 2017

by Melanie Nix I know a woman who has hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome. She is a triple negative breast cancer survivor. She has a BRCA1 gene mutation and is the fifth generation in her family to have breast cancer. She lost her youngest aunt to ovarian cancer after multiple battles with both … + read more

Genetic Testing Informs Important Medical Decisions for Three Generations in a Family

May 3, 2017

When Holly Jonas of Long Island, NY learned that her mother had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 79, it felt like déjà vu. Her mom, who has a BRCA1 gene mutation, was already a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 48. Believing that “knowledge is power,” Holly … + read more

Reflections on the March for Science

April 23, 2017

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Scientists rarely, if ever, come together across disciplines to achieve a common goal. That is unfortunate, as I believe most scientists share a common passion, and deep down, we know we can accomplish so much more collaboratively. I think that most would agree that what motivates us to conduct scientific research … + read more

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