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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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Advocacy

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

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

February 15, 2017

Guest Blog: Join FORCEs at our 2017 HBOC Conference!

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

January 26, 2017

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

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

December 31, 2016

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

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

December 6, 2016

What Does the Recent Election Mean For the HBOC Community?

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

July 5, 2016

Cancer Screening Guideline Loopholes and Confusion Jeopardize Coverage of Services: Part II of Access to Care Series

by Lisa Schlager Over 2 million women in the U.S. are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history. Additionally, nearly a million Americans carry an inherited BRCA mutation and a number of other genetic mutations have also been linked to increased risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers. Several organizations develop cancer … + read more

June 17, 2016

National Task Force Guideline Gaps Hinder Access to Genetic Testing

by Lisa Schlager Nearly a million Americans carry an inherited BRCA mutation associated with hereditary breast, ovarian cancer, and related cancers (HBOC) and it is estimated that 2.3 million women in the U.S. are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history. A number of other genetic mutations have also been linked to … + read more

March 2, 2016

NCCN Summit Explores Patient Perspectives of Value in Cancer Care

by Lisa Schlager Our January 8, 2016 blog introduced the emerging topic of value in cancer care and the importance of public participation in this discussion. On December 1, 2015, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) hosted a Patient Advocacy Summit titled Value in Cancer Care – Patient Perspectives in Washington, DC.  I was fortunate … + read more

January 29, 2016

Mammogram Update: Latest Screening Guidelines Finalized But Not Implemented

by Lisa Schlager Few health issues have stirred as much debate as the guidelines surrounding screening mammograms for average-risk women. Recent changes in national guidelines threatened access to mammograms for women age 40-49. FORCE worked together with other groups to pass laws that assure continued access to mammograms for women in this age group. At … + read more

January 8, 2016

Value in Cancer Care: Including Consumers in the Dialogue

by Lisa Schlager, Vice President of Policy and Community Affairs Value and access to appropriate health care is of vital importance to patients and their families, particularly as cancer diagnoses continue to rise—up more than 20 percent in the past decade—and health care costs steadily increase. In this environment, more attention is being paid to … + read more

October 1, 2015

Guest Blog: An HBOC Week Message from Representative Wasserman Schultz

By Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz I’m honored to have an opportunity to work with FORCE to promote awareness about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer. FORCE plays a crucial role in the cancer awareness and advocacy community, particularly for those of us who have been personally affected by genetic cancers. We share the fundamental belief that … + read more

September 28, 2015

Thanks Dave Bushman, for Sharing Your Story and Supporting FORCE’s Work

  Why I fundraise: When FORCE announced its FOR OUR CHILDREN fundraising effort, I immediately signed up. Although I was extremely reluctant to ask friends and relatives to donate, I knew that many of them would respond because they know how much FORCE means to me. My wife Jessie is fundraising, too – it’s a … + read more

September 27, 2015

Beyond Awareness: Working to Improve Outcomes for People Facing Hereditary Cancer

This week we mark National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week, and on Wednesday, National Previvor Day. This awareness campaign acknowledges the over one million people and families in the United States affected by hereditary cancer, due to a BRCA, PALB2, PTEN, ATM or other mutation linked to these cancers or a strong family history … + 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