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 Blog

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Archives

Where’s FORCE? March and April

May 30, 2018

by Lisa Schlager “Where’s FORCE” highlights the ongoing efforts of FORCE staff and volunteers on behalf of the community. March As a member of the Bayer Oncology Patient Advocacy Advisory Council (PAAC), FORCE Vice President of Public Policy Lisa Schlager joined representatives from other advocacy groups and Bayer to review project proposals submitted by nonprofit … + read more

FORCE Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator

May 21, 2018

By Karen Kramer, Senior Vice President of Marketing We have some exciting news to share! Non-profit evaluator Charity Navigator has awarded FORCE our first 4-star rating. This is their highest possible rating and indicates that we exceed industry standards in a financially responsible way. Charity Navigator bases its ratings on non-profits’ financial health and commitment … + read more

Patrick Dempsey Presents CURE Media Ovarian Cancer Hero Awards

May 14, 2018

by Karen Kramer, FORCE Senior VP of Marketing “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” That phrase was often said by Patrick Dempsey’s character—Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka “McDreamy”)—on Grey’s Anatomy.  It is a statement that resonates with me and has been a guiding principle for FORCE since the organization’s founding in 1999 by Sue Friedman, … + read more

Battling BRCA: International Conference in Iceland on BRCA and Cancer

May 11, 2018

by Kristín Hannesdóttir and Anna Margrét Bjarnadóttir On March 10th, BRCA Iceland hosted its first international conference. Sue Friedman, Executive Director, Founder of FORCE, was the keynote speaker. In June 2017, we attended the FORCE conference in Orlando. We barely knew each other at the time, but we are both BRCA2 carriers, have lost several … + read more

The Lights of May

April 27, 2018

Special note: In honor of Mother’s Day 2018, we’re recycling this post that was originally published in 2012. This inspirational post is as relevant as when first written 6 years ago.  by Sue Friedman We were late.  The last hint of twilight faded and although we were close to home, I was nervous.  It was … + read more

One More Reason Hoda Kotb is My Hero

April 23, 2018

by Karen Kramer I have loved Hoda Kotb for years. She has an infectious smile and an effortlessly positive outlook on life that I wish I could match.  After watching Hoda work hard for years, I am happy that she now has the job she deserves as the co-host of The Today Show. I start … + read more

Medicare Establishes National Coverage Policy for Next Generation Sequencing for Tumors

April 16, 2018

by Lisa Schlager The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a National Coverage Determination (NCD) to provide Medicare beneficiaries living with advanced cancer (defined as “recurrent, relapsed, refractory, metastatic, and advanced stage III or IV cancer”) with coverage of FDA-approved or -cleared Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) diagnostic panels. These tests, also known as … + read more

PARP Inhibitors and Hereditary Cancer: What’s New?

April 12, 2018

by Sue Friedman PARP inhibitors are drugs designed specifically to treat cancers in people with certain inherited mutations, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, among others. These drugs block an enzyme – known as PARP – used by cells to repair damage to their DNA. Although these agents seem to be most effective in people with mutations—not just … + read more

Where’s FORCE? Early 2018

March 19, 2018

by Lisa Schlager Throughout the year, FORCE staff and volunteers participate in a variety of conferences, workshops, steering committee meetings, and more on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. This “Where’s FORCE” feature covers the early part of 2018. January January marked the start of the New Year, and renewed focus on issues that impact … + read more

Headline Hype: A Picture as Misleading as a Thousand Words

March 15, 2018

by Welcsh, PhD The FDA announced last week that it had approved the first direct-to-consumer (DTC) test for 3 mutations in BRCA genes. FORCE was concerned about consumer understanding of the limited nature of the test and released this statement in response to the FDA report. The FDA announcement and the resulting media coverage will … + read more

Because My Daughter Will Never Have To Go Through What I Went Through

March 7, 2018

by Ellyn Davidson “Your daughter will never go through what you went through.” That simple statement had a profound impact on me. Words I will never forget and words which fuel my passion and energy into an organization that has changed the face of hereditary cancer. I was 36 when I was diagnosed with Stage … + read more

Five Year Ovarian Cancerversary

February 28, 2018

by Cindy McKinnon Deurloo Five years ago I heard the only words a cancer patient wants to hear “you’re cancer free and in remission.” After the painful surgery (radical hysterectomy), surgical menopause, 6 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy that made me very ill, multiple blood transfusions, hospital stays and scars, I made it!! How blessed am I to … + read more

FORCE Participates in The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

February 22, 2018

by Diane Rose There are large gaps in research, support, information, advocacy and resources for people with advanced breast cancer. People with metastatic breast cancer who also have an inherited mutation like BRCA or PALB2 face additional challenges associated with children and other relatives sharing the same hereditary cancer risk. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance … + read more

Why I Chose Immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer

February 7, 2018

by David Dessert I was diagnosed with stage 3 unresectable pancreatic cancer at age 48 after 5 months of ever-increasing back and abdominal pains. After a non-standard treatment with Gemzar/Cisplatin chemotherapy (because of my BRCA2 mutations), followed by chemoradiation, and 12 months later the removal of my pancreatic tumor, my surgeon told me that I … + read more

Book: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook 

February 1, 2018

 by Kathy Steligo I have more than a nodding acquaintance with breast cancer. Diagnosed twice, I’ve had seven biopsies, two lumpectomies, radiation therapy, sentinel node biopsy, genetic counseling, genetic testing, bilateral mastectomy, implant reconstruction, GAP reconstruction, fat grafting and multiple nipple and areola tattooing. Once I knew I was going to lose both my breasts, … + 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