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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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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

Supporting Those Who Support Us

April 14, 2009

Supporting Those Who Support Us Like other nonprofit organizations, FORCE seeks partnerships with those who support our mission and community. Corporate donations are essential if we are to continue our lifesaving mission of helping individuals and families affected by hereditary cancer.  But it is not always easy. Funding is competitive, and many businesses choose to … + read more

Comments Submitted to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics Health and Society

December 3, 2008

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

Improving access to genetic testing: involving a genetic counselor can help

September 19, 2008

I applaud the recent attention given to hereditary cancer, including Jessica Queller’s outstanding book, Pretty Is What Changes; Joanna Rudnick’s upcoming BRACumentary, In the Family; and Christina Applegate’s announcement of her BRCA status. Increasing BRCA awareness encourages people to educate themselves about the topic, and subsequently more people are considering genetic testing. Unfortunately, their initial … + read more

Try Walking in Our Shoes

August 19, 2008

I highly recommend In the Family for anyone who is interested in the issues facing our community. The “BRAC-umentary” by Joanna Rudnick of Kartemquin Films premiered at our 2008 annual conference and will air October 1 on PBS. In addition there are many planned community screenings of the film across the country. In 80 minutes, Joanna, … + read more

Genetic Testing: Finding The Right Specialist Can Make A Difference

July 31, 2008

On a daily basis, we are hearing alarming stories about people having BRCA genetic testing under less-than-ideal situations. Increasingly, people are being offered inappropriate testing and are receiving their test results unaccompanied by proper information about their risk for cancer or their risk-management options. In general, these stories involve individuals who are tested at a … + read more

Helping Hereditary Cancer Research: Participating in Research Studies

July 24, 2008

People frequently ask me what can be done to promote hereditary cancer research. Given the fact that our population is relatively small, and there are few research studies specifically for our community, connecting willing and eligible participants to open research studies is a critical piece of the work FORCE does to support research. If researchers … + read more

Why a FORCE blog?

July 20, 2008

Information about genetics is exploding in more ways than one.  Let me explain: almost daily we are bombarded with new articles about discoveries in the field of genetics.  Many of these discoveries are exciting and relevant for our community.  But other discoveries (although groundbreaking) may have little significance for us or others in our community.  … + 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