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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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Guest Blog: Join FORCEs at our 2017 HBOC Conference!

February 15, 2017

by guest blogger, Jane E. Herman When I boarded the flight for my first trip to Orlando in June 2011, my goal was not to hug Mickey Mouse or visit Cinderella’s Castle. Rather, my destination was the sixth annual Joining FORCEs Conference. Not knowing anyone who would be in attendance, I was – not unexpectedly … + read more

MEDIOLA: A Clinical Trial Combining a PARP Inhibitor with an Immunotherapy Drug

January 31, 2017

By Ding Wang, MD and Catherine Jenovai Immune system and cancer Every day our bodies are exposed to various injuries that may damage our cells. The damaged cells with certain types of genetic defects are tagged as abnormal and removed by our immune system. If something goes wrong and the cells are not removed by … + read more

Flawed Research and Reporting on the “Angelina Effect” Could Threaten Access to HBOC Care

January 26, 2017

by Lisa Schlager, Lisa Rezende, PhD and Sue Friedman “Angeline Effect” Angelina Jolie’s May 2013 New York Times editorial “My Medical Choice,” which detailed her decision to have a double mastectomy because she carries a BRCA1 mutation brought unprecedented attention to hereditary cancer and BRCA genetic testing. This “Angelina Effect” created an avalanche of public … + read more

My Experience with Ovarian Cancer: Surprise, Shock, Genetic Testing and Survival by Corinne Florin

January 19, 2017

When I got my diagnosis of stage IIIa, grade 3, clear cell ovarian cancer, it was such a shock that not a lot of information sunk in. I may or may not have discussed genetic testing but I just don’t remember.  I was aware that genetic testing existed, but during my recovery and subsequent treatment … + read more

Update on Hormone Therapy for Previvors

January 12, 2017

by Alexandria Groves and Lisa Rezende, PhD National guidelines recommend that women with mutations in BRCA have risk-reducing removal of their ovaries and tubes, (also known as salpingo-oophorectomy or RRSO) either between the ages of 35-40 or after they are done having children. RRSO greatly reduces the risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal cancer, … + read more

FORCE XRAYS Program Empowers Young Breast Cancer Survivors

January 12, 2017

Unconfuse the News with the FORCE XRAYS Program When Kimberly Jackson received a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32 while breastfeeding her 6-month old daughter and caring for her 3-½ year old daughter, she fell into shock. In an attempt to understand more about her diagnosis and potential treatments, she began to sort … + read more

FORCE Collaborates on Genetics Toolkit for Health Care Providers to Help Improve Patient Care

January 5, 2017

by Alexandria Groves In October The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) announced the release of the SGO Genetics Toolkit to provide critical and important information to health professionals, patients and their families, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of gynecologic cancers and genetics. The Toolkit is the result of a collaboration between experts from … + read more

Happy New Year HBOC Community! Happy 18th Birthday, FORCE!

December 31, 2016

Note: This post, which originally was published on 1/1/15 has been updated and reposted on 12/31/16. New Year’s is always a nostalgic time for me. Tonight at just a few seconds after the stroke of midnight, FORCE and the community we have built will turn 18! In 1999, I founded FORCE, not because I made … + read more

Voices of FORCE: My journey with cancer: from witness to young previvor

December 22, 2016

by Alexandria Groves My journey “with cancer” began when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. I’m the oldest of three daughters: I was seven at the time, Kiersten was five, and Victoria was one. Why did my “journey with cancer” begin back then? Because since then, breast cancer and … + read more

Paradigm shift: A journalist and survivor tackles the new normal of news

December 15, 2016

By Amy Wu Caught amidst a tsunami of daily news stories, posts and news alerts – Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, NPR, The New York Times, VICE, CNN, The Guardian and The Washington Post, where do I start? I click, I swipe, scroll and scan. Since the advent of the smartphone and the ease of the wireless … + read more

Tips for Sharing the Gift of Knowledge with Relatives

December 8, 2016

by Sue Friedman Members of our community who have already had genetic testing often ask for advice on how to speak about it to their relatives. Some common barriers to testing that we hear voiced by people are: concern over the cost of testing access to genetics experts family communication challenges With the holidays coming, … + read more

What Does the Recent Election Mean For the HBOC Community?

December 6, 2016

by Lisa Schlager The results of the 2016 election and the pending change in administration have triggered renewed focus on the future of healthcare. FORCE released an official statement on the election’s impact on the HBOC community and I hope to address additional issues here. The hereditary cancer community has good reason to be concerned. … + read more

Results from the KNOW MORE Ovarian Cancer Survey: Your Comments

November 17, 2016

by Sue Friedman FORCE’s KNOW MORE campaign helps women diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancers make informed decisions about genetic counseling and testing for inherited gene mutations. We launched a survey, which was completed by over 1,600 women with ovarian cancer. This blog continues our series on the survey results. We received over … + read more

Voices of FORCE: A BRCA Mutation is a Factor in Pancreatic Cancer

November 14, 2016

By Rona Greenberg Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is part of my family history. My grandmother, Rebecca, for whom I am named, died from breast/ovarian cancer in1934; my mother was ten years old. My mother died from the same cancer in 1967; I was nineteen years old with three younger sisters. In 1997, I was … + read more

Learn About Hereditary Pancreatic Cancer

November 1, 2016

by Lisa Rezende, PhD November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. FORCE wants to raise awareness of the risk of pancreatic cancer in the hereditary cancer community. Pancreatic cancer is rare but BRCA carriers have a high risk, up to 5% compared to the 1.5% for the general population. Between BRCA carriers, the risk is higher … + 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