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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Archives

Book: Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You

January 31, 2018

by Patricia Anstett Everyone asks: Why write another book about breast cancer? Well, turns out surgery and reconstruction options continue to be far less discussed and understood. Many women are so stunned by their breast cancer diagnosis they don’t take the time to ask for more information. And they look hard. There just aren’t a … + read more

Headline Hype: Why You Can’t Believe Everything You Read

January 17, 2018

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Our first “Headline Hype” blog post – published just a few days ago – addresses misleading information in a Newsweek article about recently published breast cancer research in Lancet Oncology. Now, it appears the media is on a roll. We were disturbed to learn about another media story focused on the same Lancet … + read more

Headline Hype: BRCA and Risk of Dying from Cancer

January 13, 2018

by Piri Welcsh, PhD An article published yesterday in Newsweek with the incredibly misleading title “A Gene That ‘Causes Cancer’ Probably Doesn’t Increase Your Chances of Dying from Cancer” created quite a social media stir.  This media story, and the research that it reports on, will be the subject of a future XRAYS article. We … + read more

The Cultural Chasm and Challenges of Being a Young Asian American Cancer Survivor

January 9, 2018

by Amy Wu In the aftermath of my cancer diagnosis and treatment, an advocate–at times raging and impatient—unexpectedly emerged. I consider myself an introvert, in some ways fitting into the stereotypes of the model Asian American—hardworking, obedient and conservative, but the close call with what I was convinced was death at the age of 37 … + read more

Where’s FORCE? Winter 2017

January 2, 2018

by Lisa Schlager Every month, FORCE staff and volunteers participate in a variety of conferences, workshops, steering committee meetings, and other activities on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. With the start of the New Year, we are launching our “Where’s FORCE” feature to keep you better informed about how and where FORCE represents the … + read more

Book: Understanding BRCA

December 12, 2017

by Clarissa Foster Three years ago, at the age of 35, I was found to carry a harmful mutation in the BRCA2 gene. I decided to undergo removal of both ovaries and tubes (known as a salpingo-oophorectomy) and a risk-reducing mastectomy to lower my risk of developing cancer. When it was established that I was … + read more

Why is Mommy Having Surgery, She Looks Ok to Me

November 20, 2017

By: Heather Barnard I wish the circumstances were different, but the fact of the matter is, I come from a long line of women with breast cancer. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all suffered from it. While my grandmother was able to beat the odds way back in 1966, my own mother was not; she passed … + read more

When Breast Cancer Treatment Ends: Thoughts On “Can Breast Cancer Come Back?” XRAYS Review

November 2, 2017

by Jennifer Hintz Note:  Jennifer’s story was submitted in response to our recent XRAY review published July 2017: Can Breast Cancer Come Back? If you have would like to submit a blog post related to one of our XRAYS articles, please contact medhas@facingourrisk.org. I was thrilled to finally hear the words from my oncologist: “You’ve done … + read more

No Longer Alone: 1000 People Benefit from Personalized Cancer Risk Support

October 23, 2017

by Sandy Cohen Unfortunately, my story is not that uncommon. I’m a motherless daughter. I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 26 years old. And she lost her mom to the disease before she graduated high school. This all occurred before the BRCA1 mutation was even discovered. Today, thanks to FORCE’s programs, … + read more

Patients Weigh In On Review of PARP Inhibitors for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

October 12, 2017

by Jill Holdren Last month on September 14th, Lisa Schlager, FORCE VP of Public Policy, and I went to St. Louis, Missouri to give comments at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER)[1] meeting on the clinical effectiveness and value of PARP inhibitors in the treatment of ovarian cancer. The meeting was one of … + read more

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

September 20, 2017

by Laura Esserman, MD Breast cancer screening today: A groundbreaking breast cancer screening study is underway in California and you may be eligible to be a part of it.  It’s called the Wisdom Study.  The aim is to determine if we can make screening better by personalizing each woman’s mammogram schedule, compared to the current … + read more

Insurance Coverage for Clinical Trial Participation: Significant Barriers Remain

September 19, 2017

by Lisa Schlager It is estimated that less than 5% of adults with cancer enroll in clinical trials. About a fifth of adult cancer clinical trials fail to recruit enough participants to complete the research.[1] These two facts hinder the development of better, safer methods to treat and prevent cancer. To help improve this situation, … + read more

100th XRAYS: 5 Lessons We Have Learned

August 22, 2017

by Lisa Rezende, PhD and Julie Huynh, MS Today we celebrate the publication of our 100th XRAYS review. It’s amazing to think how the program we developed over the past three years has grown to serve over 70,000 people affected by breast cancer. We knew the need was there. We saw how catchy headlines like … + read more

Working with Industry to Increase Patient Engagement in Drug Development

August 17, 2017

by Lisa Schlager Historically, the only role for patients in cancer research was as a subject enrolled in a clinical trial. Research generally focused exclusively on outcomes such as overall survival and neglected to account for variables such as side effects and quality of life. Engaging patients as advisors in research—reviewing study design, informed consent … + read more

Why I Asked My Mom to Undergo Genetic Testing After Her Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

July 25, 2017

by Lisa Rezende, PhD When my mom was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 55 in 2001, there were many reasons why she didn’t pursue genetic testing. National guidelines didn’t automatically recommend genetic counseling and/or testing. My family history was limited. While my grandmother had breast cancer, she was diagnosed after menopause, … + 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