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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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July 20, 2011

The critical need for ovarian cancer prevention research

In 2008, FORCE surveyed our community to establish hereditary cancer research priorities. One of the top four priorities was the development of new cancer prevention options. An important step in designing research is determining whether there is a need and whether or not the target population would enroll in the study.  We conducted a survey … + read more

July 12, 2011

Prioritizing research for metastatic hereditary cancer

There is a need for more treatment options for hereditary cancer, and the need is dire for women with metastatic hereditary breast cancer who make up a small subset of the larger breast cancer population. To better understand advanced hereditary breast cancer and to advocate for more research and better treatment options, FORCE conducted a … + read more

June 30, 2011

Why we need a hereditary cancer research fund

One of my favorite moments of the FORCE conference was having the honor to announce the FORCE Hereditary Cancer Research Fund. Below are some highlights from my presentations that mention this new and important FORCE initiative.   “Awareness and advocacy lay the groundwork for building our community and making sure that the needs of our group … + read more

April 16, 2011

Step-by-step: My kick-off talk for the Relay-for-Life

It’s an honor to be here today.  I was a practicing veterinarian in South Florida when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. At a time when I should have been enjoying my veterinary career, my husband, and my young toddler, I was diagnosed out of the blue. I was told it was … + read more

October 16, 2010

Passing the Torch: Reflecting on the Past, Connecting with the Future

To members of our community, Passing of the Torch symbolizes the hereditary link between breast and ovarian cancer. For me, the event also holds a deeply personal significance: the fulfillment of a promise to a dying friend. The first Passing of the Torch arose out of my frustration with the lack of public awareness of … + read more

December 3, 2009

The community speaks out! Your thoughts on the USPSTF breast screening guideline changes.

Newly-recommended changes for breast cancer screening by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) are getting a lot of attention and proving to be controversial. The task force: Recommended against screening mammography for women ages 40–49. Recommended screening mammography in women older than 50 be performed  biennially rather than annually. Recommended against teaching or … + read more

November 10, 2009

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: the latest FORCE testimony to SACGHS and FDA feedback

Recently FORCE submitted testimony to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics Health and Society (SACGHS) about our continuing concerns about the need for government oversight of the marketing of genetic tests to consumers and health care providers.  Below is an excerpt from our testimony. Dear Distinguished members of the committee, I represent the lay advocacy group, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), … + read more

July 17, 2009

FORCE and Health Care Community Letter in Support of the EARLY Act

The following letter was submitted by FORCE, members of our board of directors, and our medical advisory board in support of the recently introduced legislation known as the EARLY Act.  We are collecting names of people interested in signing on to the letter endorsing EARLY.  If you would like your name added to this letter … + read more

April 14, 2009

Supporting Those Who Support Us

Supporting Those Who Support Us Like other nonprofit organizations, FORCE seeks partnerships with those who support our mission and community. Corporate donations are essential if we are to continue our lifesaving mission of helping individuals and families affected by hereditary cancer.  But it is not always easy. Funding is competitive, and many businesses choose to … + read more

December 3, 2008

Comments Submitted to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics Health and Society

Yesterday I had the honor of being asked to submit public commentary to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics Health and Society.  This committee reports to the Secretary of Health and tackles the emerging and challenging issues being faced as genetic research expands at a rapid pace.  The committee seemed very interested in my statement and members … + read more

September 19, 2008

Improving access to genetic testing: involving a genetic counselor can help

I applaud the recent attention given to hereditary cancer, including Jessica Queller’s outstanding book, Pretty Is What Changes; Joanna Rudnick’s upcoming BRACumentary, In the Family; and Christina Applegate’s announcement of her BRCA status. Increasing BRCA awareness encourages people to educate themselves about the topic, and subsequently more people are considering genetic testing. Unfortunately, their initial … + read more

August 19, 2008

Try Walking in Our Shoes

I highly recommend In the Family for anyone who is interested in the issues facing our community. The “BRAC-umentary” by Joanna Rudnick of Kartemquin Films premiered at our 2008 annual conference and will air October 1 on PBS. In addition there are many planned community screenings of the film across the country. In 80 minutes, Joanna, … + read more

July 31, 2008

Genetic Testing: Finding The Right Specialist Can Make A Difference

On a daily basis, we are hearing alarming stories about people having BRCA genetic testing under less-than-ideal situations. Increasingly, people are being offered inappropriate testing and are receiving their test results unaccompanied by proper information about their risk for cancer or their risk-management options. In general, these stories involve individuals who are tested at a … + read more

July 24, 2008

Helping Hereditary Cancer Research: Participating in Research Studies

People frequently ask me what can be done to promote hereditary cancer research. Given the fact that our population is relatively small, and there are few research studies specifically for our community, connecting willing and eligible participants to open research studies is a critical piece of the work FORCE does to support research. If researchers … + read more

July 20, 2008

Why a FORCE blog?

Information about genetics is exploding in more ways than one.  Let me explain: almost daily we are bombarded with new articles about discoveries in the field of genetics.  Many of these discoveries are exciting and relevant for our community.  But other discoveries (although groundbreaking) may have little significance for us or others in our community.  … + 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