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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Archives

Archive for 2018

April 16, 2018

Medicare Establishes National Coverage Policy for Next Generation Sequencing for Tumors

by Lisa Schlager The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a National Coverage Determination (NCD) to provide Medicare beneficiaries living with advanced cancer (defined as “recurrent, relapsed, refractory, metastatic, and advanced stage III or IV cancer”) with coverage of FDA-approved or -cleared Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) diagnostic panels. These tests, also known as … + read more

March 19, 2018

Where’s FORCE? Early 2018

by Lisa Schlager Throughout the year, FORCE staff and volunteers participate in a variety of conferences, workshops, steering committee meetings, and more on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. This “Where’s FORCE” feature covers the early part of 2018. January January marked the start of the New Year, and renewed focus on issues that impact … + read more

March 15, 2018

Headline Hype: A Picture as Misleading as a Thousand Words

by Welcsh, PhD The FDA announced last week that it had approved the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) test for 3 mutations in BRCA genes. FORCE was concerned about consumer understanding of the limited nature of the test and released this statement in response to the FDA report. The FDA announcement and the resulting media coverage will … + read more

March 7, 2018

Because My Daughter Will Never Have To Go Through What I Went Through

by Ellyn Davidson “Your daughter will never go through what you went through.” That simple statement had a profound impact on me. Words I will never forget and words which fuel my passion and energy into an organization that has changed the face of hereditary cancer. I was 36 when I was diagnosed with Stage … + read more

February 28, 2018

Five Year Ovarian Cancerversary

by Cindy McKinnon Deurloo Five years ago I heard the only words a cancer patient wants to hear “you’re cancer free and in remission.” After the painful surgery (radical hysterectomy), surgical menopause, 6 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy that made me very ill, multiple blood transfusions, hospital stays and scars, I made it!! How blessed am I to … + read more

February 22, 2018

FORCE Participates in The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

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

February 7, 2018

Why I Chose Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

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

February 7, 2018

PARP Inhibitors and Hereditary Cancer: What’s New?

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

February 3, 2018

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

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

February 1, 2018

Book: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook 

 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

January 31, 2018

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

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

January 17, 2018

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

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

January 13, 2018

Headline Hype: BRCA and Risk of Dying from Cancer

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

January 9, 2018

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

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

January 2, 2018

Where’s FORCE? Winter 2017

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

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