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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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FORCE is Preparing for 2011 National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day … and we hope you are too!

August 22, 2011

HBOC Week is our opportunity to shine the light on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, impart knowledge, and save lives. Let’s join together to make a difference! On September 15, 2010, history was made with the unanimous passage of H Res 1522, the Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and … + read more

Spirit of Empowerment: A family gives back

August 16, 2011

At our conference in June, we continued a new tradition by presenting our second Spirit of Empowerment Awards. They recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations that help FORCE support the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer community and allow us to shine the light on individuals and organizations who are making a significant difference for the almost one million people … + read more

Joining FORCEs Conference 2011 Recap

August 11, 2011

Basking in the energy of another successful conference, it’s always rewarding to share the highlights (once we have a chance to catch our breath). This year’s conference (our sixth!) brought together 530 survivors, previvors, health care providers, researchers, and advocates. They traveled from most U.S. states and 11 countries—including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, … + read more

The critical need for ovarian cancer prevention research

July 20, 2011

In 2008, FORCE surveyed our community to establish hereditary cancer research priorities. One of the top four priorities was the development of new cancer prevention options. An important step in designing research is determining whether there is a need and whether or not the target population would enroll in the study.  We conducted a survey … + read more

Prioritizing research for metastatic hereditary cancer

July 12, 2011

There is a need for more treatment options for hereditary cancer, and the need is dire for women with metastatic hereditary breast cancer who make up a small subset of the larger breast cancer population. To better understand advanced hereditary breast cancer and to advocate for more research and better treatment options, FORCE conducted a … + read more

Keeping the lights on

July 6, 2011

Announcing the appointment of Barbara Pfeiffer as our new pro bono CEO at the opening session led to a great buzz during our conference. We’ve been barraged with questions ever since. Many people anxiously approached me to find out if I am ill and if I am okay with the change. I know that in … + read more

Why we need a hereditary cancer research fund

June 30, 2011

One of my favorite moments of the FORCE conference was having the honor to announce the FORCE Hereditary Cancer Research Fund. Below are some highlights from my presentations that mention this new and important FORCE initiative.   “Awareness and advocacy lay the groundwork for building our community and making sure that the needs of our group … + read more

Mother’s Day Perspectives from Our Members

May 8, 2011

Our community enjoys sharing their personal stories. Many of us have been moved and empowered by other people who face similar challenges, and sharing provides similar support for those who follow in our footsteps. Sometimes we gain solace knowing that our journey may help others, just as we benefited from those who shared their journey … + read more

A Prescription for Health: Taking Time for Exercise

April 25, 2011

At age 48, more than a decade after being treated for cancer and enduring chemotherapy and early menopause, I’m amazed to find myself in the best shape in my life. So many of us go to exhaustive lengths to explore and pursue options for cancer risk-management—we make multiple doctor appointments, undergo intense screening, and sometimes … + read more

Step-by-step: My kick-off talk for the Relay-for-Life

April 16, 2011

It’s an honor to be here today.  I was a practicing veterinarian in South Florida when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33. At a time when I should have been enjoying my veterinary career, my husband, and my young toddler, I was diagnosed out of the blue. I was told it was … + read more

Passing the Torch: Reflecting on the Past, Connecting with the Future

October 16, 2010

To members of our community, Passing of the Torch symbolizes the hereditary link between breast and ovarian cancer. For me, the event also holds a deeply personal significance: the fulfillment of a promise to a dying friend. The first Passing of the Torch arose out of my frustration with the lack of public awareness of … + read more

What a difference a decade makes

September 30, 2010

I watched CSPAN with a sense of pride and awe as the House of Representatives voted on and passed HR 1522, designating National HBOC Week and Previvor Day. It is a day that has been 11 years in the making. It has been a long, exciting, sometimes frustrating and (now) gratifying journey that required tenacity … + read more

The community speaks out! Your thoughts on the USPSTF breast screening guideline changes.

December 3, 2009

Newly-recommended changes for breast cancer screening by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) are getting a lot of attention and proving to be controversial. The task force: Recommended against screening mammography for women ages 40–49. Recommended screening mammography in women older than 50 be performed  biennially rather than annually. Recommended against teaching or … + read more

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: the latest FORCE testimony to SACGHS and FDA feedback

November 10, 2009

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

FORCE and Health Care Community Letter in Support of the EARLY Act

July 17, 2009

The following letter was submitted by FORCE, members of our board of directors, and our medical advisory board in support of the recently introduced legislation known as the EARLY Act.  We are collecting names of people interested in signing on to the letter endorsing EARLY.  If you would like your name added to this letter … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

Our helpline offers peer support for people concerned about hereditary cancer. All calls are confidential. Call any time.

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