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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Posts Tagged ‘screening and prevention’

March 8, 2019

XRAYS Blog – A Deep Dive into Disparities: The Challenges and Opportunities of Reaching Out to the Underserved

By Amy Wu I recently had the privilege of spending two days at a brainstorming session with a group of doctors, scientists, researchers, advocates and fellow survivors (myself included), all of us a sounding board for the California Breast Cancer Research Program. The goal was to identify and create research projects on breast cancer. One … + read more

February 22, 2019

FORCE and Other Groups Meet with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

by Lisa Schlager   In 2018, Medicare issued a National Coverage Determination (NCD) that added coverage of tumor testing for people with advanced cancer. Tumor testing can help those with advanced cancers choose treatment options. While the decision increases access to tumor testing, under some circumstances the policy will restrict access to genetic testing for … + read more

February 20, 2019

Celebrating Twenty Years of Support

On New Year’s Day, FORCE celebrated our 20th Anniversary! It is a great milestone, and we have accomplished so much along the way. Over the coming year, we will share articles about key accomplishments in each of our pillars: support, advocacy, research and education. FORCE was founded in 1999 as a support organization. Our first … + read more

January 22, 2019

My BRCA2 Story: Mastectomy Without Reconstruction

by Marla Ruhana In the XRAYS review, Juliet’s story: No reconstruction is a post-mastectomy option, Juliet’s experience resonated with me. My mastectomy journey began in August of 2003, when my sister called and said, “Well, I’m one of the seven percent of women who get breast cancer under the age of 40.” She said that … + read more

January 10, 2019

Book: The Big Discovery

My Family History In 2003, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer and unfortunately lost her four-year battle at the young of age 52. Shortly after my mother’s battle with cancer, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 53. He elected to have his prostate removed and is currently doing … + read more

January 8, 2019

Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy

I agonized for years over whether to have a double mastectomy after I found out I have a BRCA2 mutation. I couldn’t get past the idea that I would be removing my breasts to reduce my risk of a disease I didn’t have — and may never get. My book, Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk … + read more

November 28, 2018

You Don’t Need a Family History of Cancer to Benefit from Genetic Testing

by Sue Friedman Many people mistakenly believe that genetic testing for inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch Syndrome, and other genes is only appropriate for people with many cases of cancer in their family. National guidelines—based on the latest research—state otherwise. There are situations where a single case of cancer in a family is enough … + read more

June 17, 2018

Solving for Y: Reaching Men About Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate And Related Cancers (HBOC)

by Sue Friedman Half of all people with an inherited BRCA, ATM, CHEK2, PALB2 or other mutation associated with HBOC are men. Nevertheless, the majority of awareness, research, and resources have focused on genetic testing in women. A recent article in JAMA highlights this disparity in BRCA testing between men and women. Emerging information on … + read more

December 12, 2017

Book: Understanding BRCA

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

October 23, 2017

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

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

September 20, 2017

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

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

March 1, 2017

Making Postmastectomy Decisions: The Right Input is Critical

Note: This is part 3 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAYS review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” In part 1 of the series, FORCE volunteer, Robin Karlin discusses her decisions after mastectomy, and her feelings post-reconstruction. In part 2, Sue Friedman talks about the affect of … + read more

February 15, 2017

Guest Blog: Join FORCEs at our 2017 HBOC Conference!

by guest blogger, Jane E. Herman When I boarded the flight for my first trip to Orlando in June 2011, my goal was not to hug Mickey Mouse or visit Cinderella’s Castle. Rather, my destination was the sixth annual Joining FORCEs Conference. Not knowing anyone who would be in attendance, I was – not unexpectedly … + read more

December 31, 2016

Happy New Year HBOC Community! Happy 18th Birthday, FORCE!

Note: This post, which originally was published on 1/1/15 has been updated and reposted on 12/31/16. New Year’s is always a nostalgic time for me. Tonight at just a few seconds after the stroke of midnight, FORCE and the community we have built will turn 18! In 1999, I founded FORCE, not because I made … + read more

December 22, 2016

Voices of FORCE: My Journey with Cancer: From Witness to Young Previvor

by Alexandria Groves My journey “with cancer” began when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. I’m the oldest of three daughters: I was seven at the time, Kiersten was five, and Victoria was one. Why did my “journey with cancer” begin back then? Because since then, breast cancer and … + read more

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