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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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Marketing of Genetic Testing

February 18, 2016

What Every Woman with Ovarian Cancer Should Know: FORCE’S KNOW MORE Campaign and Survey

Increased awareness around BRCA genetic testing has helped people better understand their risk for cancer and options for lowering their risk. Less attention has focused on the importance of genetic testing for people who have already been diagnosed with cancer. This is particularly true for ovarian cancer survivors, because knowing your mutation status can change … + read more

March 5, 2015

Regulating the Next Generation of Genetic Tests

Gene sequencing – also known as genetic testing – is the process scientists use to analyze DNA in search of mutations and variations in an effort to discover more about the connection between genes and traits, health and disease. Since the discovery of BRCA 1 in 1994, the sequencing of genes to find mutations has … + read more

May 24, 2013

Maximizing Access to BRCA Testing by Involving Genetics Experts

Note: The below is an updated version of a post in 2008 right after the documentary In the Family was released, and actress Christina Applegate announced she had a BRCA 1 mutation. Five years later, this post is more relevant than ever.  As the dust clears since Angelina Jolie went public with her BRCA status, the impact … + read more

May 19, 2013

Proposed Guidelines on BRCA Testing Leave Many Gaps

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a government-supported independent panel of experts that reviews and develops recommendations on select preventive health services. The panel assigns letter grades to preventive services based on their opinion of strength of the research evidence. The task force just released a draft of their guidelines on genetic … + read more

March 22, 2013

Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

Recently a dear friend sent me a link to an article in the February 1996 issue of Nature Medicine. The article by journalist Adam Marcus covered a media event and panel of women’s rights advocates expressing concern about Myriad’s impending patenting of the BRCA1 gene. Panelists declared unregulated genetic testing to be the coming century’s … + read more

February 22, 2012

Exclusive gene patent on BRCA: Adding burden to an already overburdened community

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is gathering information on the impact of gene patenting on genetic diagnostic in order to prepare a report to Congress under the America Invents Act. The USPTO is soliciting public commentary on this important issue by organizing public hearings. This past Thursday, Lisa Schlager, Vice President of Community Affairs and Public Policy … + 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

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

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FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered