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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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Health and Fitness

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 26, 2016

5 Quick Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Evaluate Health Information Shared by the News or Media

Have you ever seen a headline or read a story in the news or media with health information that made you wonder whether or not it was reliable? If you said yes, you are not alone. Today, it can be hard to know what to believe. Headlines like, “How a Breast Cancer Gene May Affect … + 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

December 15, 2014

Education, Medical Decisions, and Regret

Note: This article was originally posted in 2014 and updated on 05/12/16. An AARP article that contained an interview with rock stars Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge brought awareness to the individual and personal nature of genetic testing, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), and the medical challenges that accompany inherited breast cancer. The article also led to … + read more

February 21, 2014

FORCE 15: Reasons to Join FORCEs and Attend Our 8th Annual Conference

Need a reason to attend this year’s Joining FORCEs Conference? Here are 15 good ones: It’s the largest annual gathering by and for the hereditary cancer community.  Be a part of this landmark event. We make the latest science understandable and accessible. Hear experts clearly explain the science of hereditary cancer and make the latest … + read more

August 22, 2013

Hereditary Cancer Impact Is More Than Skin Deep

Articles about Angelina Jolie’s revelation that she underwent genetic testing and prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction often emphasize her as one of the world’s most beautiful women, who is still beautiful after all that she has endured. This message can be reassuring; by going public, Ms. Jolie put a more positive spin on the stigmatizing effect … + read more

June 21, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 50: Recovery

The first time I met with my running coach, she had me run a quarter mile as fast as I could. As I neared the finish, I remember feeling like I was drowning. As soon as I finished she had me slow to a jog without stopping and timed me as I continued this very … + read more

April 3, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 50: Transformations

For many people, turning 50 is an unappreciated milestone that they would rather not acknowledge, but I feel differently. Some people find themselves going through a midlife crisis; me, I’m facing 50 by signing up and training for my first marathon! Like most of us I’ve undergone many transformations in my life. Some have been … + read more

October 31, 2012

A Healing Light From Within

Below are excerpts from our Joining FORCEs conference welcome address and a keynote talk that I recently gave in Chicago. Fifteen years ago, there was no FORCE. Back then, hereditary cancer was scarier and lonelier than it is today. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, it was caught early. I … + read more

September 6, 2012

13 Developments That Have Helped the HBOC Community

September marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. And September 23-30 we will celebrate National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week! Follow us on twitter, Facebook, and our website to see what we are doing to celebrate and to share your celebration ideas with us! In honor of this time of year and in keeping with our … + read more

July 10, 2012

13 Things That Jewish People Should Know About Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, cancer was not on my radar. Despite the fact that my paternal grandmother had died young of so-called “abdominal cancer,” none of my health care providers indicated that I might be at high risk for cancer. My health care team treated my diagnosis of young-onset … + read more

May 1, 2012

13 Reasons to Attend the Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer Conference

Registration is now open for our 7th annual Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer conference. The excitement is building as planning progresses for this amazing and unique event. As Course Director, I think the conference is incredible; as a participant, this is the conference that I personally enjoy the most and gain the most from attending. … + read more

April 2, 2012

Overall Health: Addressing the Big Picture

For those with an inherited predisposition, cancer remains a serious and pervasive threat. But as scientists learn more about hereditary cancer, we have greater opportunities to apply research to live longer and better.  As a community we must continue to press for more research to understand the long-term health consequences of hereditary cancer and risk-management … + read more

March 5, 2012

Why Shouldn’t We Have It All?

As a 15-year breast cancer survivor, I remind myself daily of my good fortune and blessings. Of course, I feel fortunate to be a long-term survivor, especially when I consider that my cancer initially recurred nine months after treatment. I made it through chemotherapy and radiation without any serious problems, despite needing a transfusion and … + read more

January 18, 2012

Thirteen Ways FORCE will Serve Our Community in 2012

On New Year’s Day we celebrated FORCE’s 13th birthday! Over the course of this year, we will highlight the significance of this milestone with blogs that emphasize the theme of “13.” As my first blog of the new year, I am excited to share 13 things that FORCE will do to serve the hereditary cancer … + read more

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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