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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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Thoughts on Turning 50: Transformations

April 3, 2013

For many people, turning 50 is an unappreciated milestone that they would rather not acknowledge, but I feel differently. Some people find themselves going through a midlife crisis; me, I’m facing 50 by signing up and training for my first marathon! Like most of us I’ve undergone many transformations in my life. Some have been … + read more

Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

March 22, 2013

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

Creating More Resources for High-Risk Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Screening

March 16, 2013

Women at high risk for breast cancer are not receiving the information, access to care, or support they need to address their elevated cancer risk. Despite guidelines on risk assessment and management, many women are not accurately informed about their high-risk status or the risk-management options required to make informed health care decisions. Some high-risk … + read more

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

February 24, 2013

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

Progress in Hereditary Cancer Treatment Research

February 11, 2013

Recently I participated in the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) semi-annual meeting in San Diego. The GOG is part of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, whose role is to promote and support clinical trials for cancers. As one of the members of the Patient Advocacy Committee of GOG I participate by providing the consumer perspective and … + read more

Drawing Attention To High-risk Screening

January 17, 2013

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

Happy New Year/Happy Birthday FORCE

January 1, 2013

Dearest Friends, Please indulge me in posting my annual new year/birthday wish to FORCE on my blog. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by! Tonight, FORCE and this community will celebrate our 14th birthday. This year even more than previous years it feels as though we have grown and accomplished so much! FORCE was … + read more

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

December 12, 2012

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

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Screening Mammography

December 3, 2012

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

13 Things About Breast Reconstruction

November 10, 2012

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

A Healing Light From Within

October 31, 2012

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

The Cavalry Has Arrived!

October 15, 2012

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

Previvor Day: A Solemn Celebration

September 26, 2012

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

HBOC Week 2012: A Call to Arms

September 23, 2012

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

13 Developments That Have Helped the HBOC Community

September 6, 2012

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

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FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered