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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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Risk management

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 16, 2013

Creating More Resources for High-Risk Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Screening

Women at high risk for breast cancer are not receiving the information, access to care, or support they need to address their elevated cancer risk. Despite guidelines on risk assessment and management, many women are not accurately informed about their high-risk status or the risk-management options required to make informed health care decisions. Some high-risk … + read more

February 24, 2013

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

In 2008 FORCE conducted a survey to learn about research priorities for the HBOC community. We learned that women want better methods for ovarian cancer detection and prevention for ourselves, our children, and future generations. For this reason, we have worked closely with researchers exploring new options and we have carefully followed and shared with … + read more

January 17, 2013

Drawing Attention To High-risk Screening

Reports are everywhere in the media about which celebrities underwent prophylactic mastectomy, the difficulty of their decision, and why these women made the choice. These media reports can be helpful to our community as they raise awareness of hereditary cancer risk and risk-management and remove the stigma of mastectomy. However, given the media focus on … + read more

December 3, 2012

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Screening Mammography

Two recent research articles have questioned the value of mammograms and opened up a dialogue about possible benefits and harms of screening for breast cancer. One study looked at mammography in the general population and the other in high-risk young women. Both studies raise interesting concerns, but neither provides the definitive answers needed to dismiss … + read more

November 10, 2012

13 Things About Breast Reconstruction

A guest blog by Kathy Steligo Although many women choose to forego breast reconstruction, it is almost always an option after mastectomy. Research shows that reconstruction can improve psychological well-being and quality of life, and result in improved body image and self-esteem. Most women are not informed about breast reconstruction before their mastectomy, however, so … + read more

October 15, 2012

The Cavalry Has Arrived!

When I founded FORCE in 1999 it was in the early days of BRCA discovery and testing. I had my own BRCA testing in 1998, over a year after my diagnosis with breast cancer, and only after learning about hereditary cancer by reading a magazine article about BRCA. I immediately understood the significance and power … + read more

September 23, 2012

HBOC Week 2012: A Call to Arms

As we begin HBOC Week and approach Previvor Day 2012, I am again reminded of how far we have come and how far we still have to go in the fight against hereditary cancer.  The growth of our organization, message boards, mailing lists, and Facebook and Twitter pages tells the story: more people than ever … + 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

June 12, 2012

A Public Response to Dr. Ivan Oransky

To put this post in context, I was forwarded the link to this webcast from the recent TedMed Conference. I suggest watching this presentation by Dr. Ivan Oransky prior to reading the following blog. Dear Dr. Oransky, I recently watched your TedMed presentation and I share your concerns about medical overtreatment of certain conditions and … + 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

March 1, 2012

13 Important Facts About Our Hereditary Cancer Research Fund

How many times have you been asked for YOUR INPUT on which types of research should be supported? As an important stakeholder in cancer research, it is your right to help guide the direction of research. Please help us advance hereditary cancer research by: reading the 13 facts listed below about our research fund, completing our … + read more

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FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered