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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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 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 12, 2012

Clinical Trials for Hereditary Cancer: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This blog is a call to action! Please read on, and then post, blog, tweet, retweet, and share about this issue so that we can assure that hereditary cancer research continues! The call for more research is a constant theme for all diseases including cancer, and sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated by the slow pace … + 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 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

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 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

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

June 26, 2012

Lucky 21 – For Dan

I know that this post is a departure from our “13 things” theme. But it was important for me to share this post with our community. I have said in the past that FORCE was founded on the principle that “no one should face hereditary cancer alone.” I have been blessed with a partner who … + 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 27, 2012

13 Tips for Incorporating Fitness into Your Life

I am not someone who is drawn to exercise. In my teens, I avoided exercise and didn’t take care of my body. And yet, at age 49 I find myself in the best physical shape of my life because I have learned to incorporate exercise into my routine. I have read many studies demonstrating the … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

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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