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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Archive for 2019

August 12, 2019

My CDH1 Mutation and Why I Chose Preventive Gastrectomy

by Jonathan Grossman On January 4, 2018, my mom died of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. She carried a CDH1 mutation that we only learned about after her diagnosis. Doctors diagnosed her with the disease roughly three years before she died. Originally, her doctors told her she had only months to live. The gene and cancer … + read more

August 9, 2019

Be Your Own Health Advocate! If Your Doctor Isn’t Asking You These Questions, Ask Them Yourself.

All medical decisions come with tradeoffs, and people weigh risks and benefits differently. In the hereditary cancer community, we are constantly weighing our choices. These questions can bring our own goals into focus and can then be shared with our care team. Thinking about your goals, priorities and what matters to you most can help you make treatment decisions that are right for you.

August 7, 2019

FORCE Advocates Attend Project LEAD

by Jill Holdren; with Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, and Judy Plymale Introduction Five FORCE advocates—Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, Judy Plymale and Jill Holdren—recently had the opportunity to gather with more than 55 other advocates to attend Project LEAD, the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s (NBCC) prestigious week-long training on the science of … + read more

July 15, 2019

Breast Cancer Patients Need More Information on Precision Medicine, Tumor Testing and Genetics

by Sue Friedman (FORCE) with Janine Guglielmino (LBBC) When people are diagnosed with cancer, doctors perform tests to learn more about the cancer and the best way to treat it. Ongoing advances in medicine are making it possible for  doctors to look at the unique makeup of each patient and their tumor to choose the … + read more

July 11, 2019

Protect Yourself, Your Friends and Family from Fraudulent Genetic Testing

by Lisa Schlager As FORCE celebrates its 20th birthday, I too am commemorating a milestone.  It has been 20 years since I underwent genetic testing and learned that I carry a BRCA1 mutation. Some might look back at that fateful day and feel a sense of dread or sadness. I definitely experienced these and other … + read more

June 29, 2019

Hiding in Plain Sight: LGBTQ People and Clinical Trials

by Scout, MA, PhD I’m writing this on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the time when LGBTQ persons (mostly LGBTQ gender, nonconforming persons of color) stood up and fought back against systemic discrimination from the police. This whole month I have been seeing more pride observances than ever; corporations really seem to … + read more

June 27, 2019

Men Can Have Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Men have breast tissue too and any man can develop breast cancer. Men who are interested in breast reconstruction have several options to help restore the natural appearance of their chests.

May 30, 2019

Alert: Cancer Genetic Testing Should Be Performed in the Health Care Setting

by Lisa Schlager and Sue Friedman There is a flood of information available about genetic tests for cancer risk in the media, and even at community events, such as health fairs and senior centers. If these promotions have caught your attention and you are considering testing, there is important information that you should know first. … + read more

May 30, 2019

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

May 7, 2019

Anti-vaccine Hype is a Threat to People with Cancer

Cancer treatment is challenging enough, without the added threat of a measles outbreak caused by decreased vaccinations.

May 2, 2019

Improving Memory in Menopause: the IMPRES Study

By Joanna Marks Ask any woman who has undergone a risk-reducing salpingo oophorectomy (RRSO) about recovery and you will hear about both the physical and emotional challenges of this process. If ovaries are removed prior to a woman’s natural menopause transition, she will likely enter premature menopause. For many women, cognitive complaints (like difficulty concentrating … + read more

May 1, 2019

Where’s FORCE?

This issue of “Where’s FORCE?” features an overview of the many events in which FORCE staff and volunteers participated during the past few months. December December is often a slow time due to the holidays, but the FORCE team kept busy. Our research team—Executive Director Sue Friedman, Vice President of Education Piri Welcsh, and Director … + read more

April 11, 2019

Devin Sidell’s Lady Parts The Film

Devin Sidell is an actress and a previvor who is sharing her story in an upcoming dark comedy feature film called Lady Parts in order to bring more awareness and normalization to BRCA-positive women undergoing preventative surgeries. “I am an actress, an artist, a storyteller. Yet, I had never thought about turning my own story into art … + read more

April 1, 2019

Update: FDA Meeting on Breast Implant Safety

by Lisa Schlager Breast implant safety is a hot topic. We recently published an XRAYS review that shed some light on the importance of well-designed research and reliable information about breast implants. Last week, I attended and made public remarks at a 2-day meeting on breast implants hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration … + read more

March 8, 2019

A Deep Dive into Disparities: The Challenges and Opportunities of Reaching Out to the Underserved

By Amy Wu I recently had the privilege of spending two days at a brainstorming session with a group of doctors, scientists, researchers, advocates and fellow survivors (myself included), all of us a sounding board for the California Breast Cancer Research Program. The goal was to identify and create research projects on breast cancer. One … + 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