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

Advocacy

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

September 5, 2015

Proposed Regulatory Changes Will Undermine Patient Protections Under GINA

Employees will be faced with a difficult choice—either disclose personal health information or maintain their privacy and pay more for health coverage. by Lisa Schlager Personal privacy and workplace protections are in jeopardy with recent proposals by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In April, the Commission proposed revising and reinterpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) … + read more

September 3, 2015

Guest Blog: We All Deserve the Chance to Make Decisions About Our Futures

By Teri Woodhull Like most families in the FORCE community, cancer followed my family for generations. Breast cancer touched my mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, and my mother’s first cousin. And me. We knew it had to be more than a coincidence. My mother died at 46 of breast cancer. Her oncologist and other … + read more

August 9, 2015

Guest Blog: Attending ASCO as a Research Advocate

By Robin Karlin Thirty thousand health professionals, fabulous views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, miles of escalators, fountains and crowded atriums, long lines at every Starbucks, session after session of the latest research and educational panels, and a fun evening at Shedd Aquarium. These were all part of my 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology … + read more

June 2, 2015

An Advocacy Win for Cancer Survivors Facing HBOC

  We frequently mobilize our community to challenge health policy barriers to medical care. It’s always gratifying when we are able to report wins, when FORCE organized and amplified your voices to affect positive change. Clarification of guidelines paves the way for eligible cancer survivors to receive BRCA counseling and testing at no cost Guidelines … + read more

May 9, 2015

Newly proposed United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) breast cancer screening guidelines fail to address the needs of many women

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has published its Draft Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines. Once finalized, these recommendations will replace current guidelines that were published in 2009. The proposed recommendations are specifically to guide decision-making about breast cancer screening for women of average breast cancer risk. The guidelines are particularly important for patients … + read more

April 13, 2015

Another Reason for People to Know Their BRCA Status

By sharing her BRCA status and news of her prophylactic surgeries with the world, Angelina Jolie Pitt has raised awareness about BRCA testing and hereditary cancer to new heights. Her op-eds have created the “the Angelina Effect,” a term describing how her celebrity has increased demand for these services. Still, many people who meet national … + read more

March 31, 2015

Angelina Jolie and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Kudos to Angelina Jolie Pitt for sharing her BRCA status and news of her prophylactic surgeries with the world, soon after her risk-reducing mastectomy two years ago and again last week when she wrote about her bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Her two op-eds brought an unprecedented level of awareness about hereditary cancer, making words like “mutation” and … + 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