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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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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

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

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

February 3, 2015

Spreading HBOC Advocacy to Japan

Last month I had the honor of giving two talks at a conference organized by the Japanese HBOC Consortium in Tokyo: one for patients and the other for health care providers. Most people in Japan have little input into their health care decisions and do not question their doctors’ recommendations. The conference organizers hoped that … + 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

July 7, 2013

Fear, Bravery and HBOC

Recently the topics of BRCA and bravery have been in the news. Previvor Angelina Jolie made headlines when she announced that she carries a BRCA1 mutation and underwent prophylactic bilateral mastectomies. Singer Melissa Etheridge, a BRCA2 mutation carrier and a breast cancer survivor, labeled Jolie’s choice of BPM as “fearful” rather than “brave.” Personally, I … + 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

May 20, 2013

Every Story Matters

Since Angelina Jolie recently shared her personal experience with genetic testing and prophylactic surgery in the New York Times, public awareness of hereditary cancer is at an all-time high. The media surrounding Ms. Jolie’s revelations has also provided unparalleled opportunities for members of the HBOC community to share their personal accounts as well. How did … + 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 26, 2012

Previvor Day: A Solemn Celebration

In searching for inspiration for this blog, I went back to the FORCE message boards to remember when and how the previvor movement began.  When I started FORCE, long before the organization and programs grew to the national influence that we are today, we were merely a message board, a way for people in similar … + read more

May 9, 2012

The Lights of May

Special note: In honor of Mother’s Day 2016, I’m recycling this post that I wrote in 2012. This post is as relevant as when I wrote it 4 years ago. I have yet to see a firefly in Tampa but tonight I will look extra hard. – Sue by Sue Friedman We were late.  The … + read more

March 16, 2012

Guest Blogger: Knowledge IS Power

Guest blogger and Phoenix Outreach Coordinator, Lisa Edwards shares her story and thoughts on why she feels supporting FORCE is so important. I grew up watching my grandmother, two aunts and mother battle breast cancer, each of them having it more than once.  As a young adult, I knew that I needed to be the … + read more

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