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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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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

Applying Personalized Medicine to Disease Screening and Prevention

August 6, 2012

Personalized medicine uses information about an individual’s genetic make-up to deliver the right screening, prevention, or treatment options at the right time to achieve the best medical outcome. Genetic counseling, risk assessment, and genetic testing to determine inherited predisposition for diseases are important and growing areas of personalized medicine that further this goal. Critics have … + read more

13 Things That Jewish People Should Know About Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

July 10, 2012

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, cancer was not on my radar. Despite the fact that my paternal grandmother had died young of so-called “abdominal cancer,” none of my health care providers indicated that I might be at high risk for cancer. My health care team treated my diagnosis of young-onset … + read more

Lucky 21 – For Dan

June 26, 2012

I know that this post is a departure from our “13 things” theme. But it was important for me to share this post with our community. I have said in the past that FORCE was founded on the principle that “no one should face hereditary cancer alone.” I have been blessed with a partner who … + read more

A Public Response to Dr. Ivan Oransky

June 12, 2012

To put this post in context, I was forwarded the link to this webcast from the recent TedMed Conference. I suggest watching this presentation by Dr. Ivan Oransky prior to reading the following blog. Dear Dr. Oransky, I recently watched your TedMed presentation and I share your concerns about medical overtreatment of certain conditions and … + read more

13 Facts that Men with Hereditary Cancer Risk Should Know

June 1, 2012

As we approach Father’s Day we would like to call attention to an often forgotten group: men who have a BRCA mutation or a family history of hereditary cancer. Although men don’t get ovarian cancer and their risk for breast cancer is very low, we are learning more and more about how hereditary cancer risk … + read more

13 Reasons to Attend the Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer Conference

May 1, 2012

Registration is now open for our 7th annual Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer conference. The excitement is building as planning progresses for this amazing and unique event. As Course Director, I think the conference is incredible; as a participant, this is the conference that I personally enjoy the most and gain the most from attending. … + read more

13 Tips for Incorporating Fitness into Your Life

April 27, 2012

I am not someone who is drawn to exercise. In my teens, I avoided exercise and didn’t take care of my body. And yet, at age 49 I find myself in the best physical shape of my life because I have learned to incorporate exercise into my routine. I have read many studies demonstrating the … + read more

Overall Health: Addressing the Big Picture

April 2, 2012

For those with an inherited predisposition, cancer remains a serious and pervasive threat. But as scientists learn more about hereditary cancer, we have greater opportunities to apply research to live longer and better.  As a community we must continue to press for more research to understand the long-term health consequences of hereditary cancer and risk-management … + read more

Guest Blogger: Knowledge IS Power

March 16, 2012

Guest blogger and Phoenix Outreach Coordinator, Lisa Edwards shares her story and thoughts on why she feels supporting FORCE is so important. I grew up watching my grandmother, two aunts and mother battle breast cancer, each of them having it more than once.  As a young adult, I knew that I needed to be the … + read more

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