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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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Archives

Archive for 2017

September 20, 2017

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

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

September 19, 2017

Insurance Coverage for Clinical Trial Participation: Significant Barriers Remain

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

August 22, 2017

100th XRAYS: 5 Lessons We Have Learned

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

August 17, 2017

Working with Industry to Increase Patient Engagement in Drug Development

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

July 25, 2017

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

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

June 1, 2017

Chemo and Hair Loss Is More Than a Vanity Issue

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

May 18, 2017

Science and the Media: Help vs. Hype

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

May 14, 2017

The Lights of May

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

May 11, 2017

Fueling Patient-Focused Health Care

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

May 3, 2017

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

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

April 23, 2017

Reflections on the March for Science

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

April 10, 2017

Introducing Myself to the FORCE Community

by Piri Welcsh, PhD I am honored to begin a new phase of my career as FORCE’s Vice President of Education. I’d like to introduce myself by telling you a bit of a long story. I will tell this over time in several parts. The story is that of the “The Race” to Clone BRCA1. … + read more

March 30, 2017

Genetic Testing Results In An Early Stage Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

After discovering that her mother carried the BRCA1 mutation, Ilana Feuchter of Vienna, Virginia decided to get tested as well, a decision that would ultimately lead to her diagnosis of Stage 2 ovarian cancer in November of 2013. Ilana’s journey began in the Spring of 2013 after her mother was diagnosed with a cancer of … + read more

March 28, 2017

SOLO3: A Clinical Trial Comparing the PARP Inhibitor, Olaparib to Standard Chemotherapy for Platinum-Sensitive Relapsed Ovarian Cancer

by Jordan Dietrich  SOLO3 SOLO3 is an exciting phase III ovarian cancer clinical trial that studies the effectiveness and safety of the PARP inhibitor Olaparib (Lynparza) compared to single-agent standard chemotherapy in women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer with germline BRCA1/2 mutations. The trial is designed to confirm the benefit of Olaparib in this subset of … + read more

March 1, 2017

Making Postmastectomy Decisions: The Right Input is Critical

Note: This is part 3 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAYS review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” In part 1 of the series, FORCE volunteer, Robin Karlin discusses her decisions after mastectomy, and her feelings post-reconstruction. In part 2, Sue Friedman talks about the affect of … + read more

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