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Guidelines

FORCE is a resource for the entire community affected by hereditary cancer. We welcome people from all backgrounds and situations. Our growing community is composed of individuals with unique family histories, medical histories, and risk management choices. Our diversity makes us strong, but it also increases the likelihood that people will hold different opinions on the issues. The FORCE mission includes offering support, education, advocacy, and awareness. Support is the keystone of our message boards. Although we may not always agree with each other, it is important that we respect the opinions and choices of others. With our continued expansion, we have updated our message board policies to ensure a supportive environment for all. Please read the information below regarding these updated policies.

FORCE has message board moderators composed of volunteers who have been chosen for their fair and balanced perspective. They review questions and concerns about posts or other communications. Based on their review, if a post or communication is deemed inappropriate, various actions may be taken, including removing posts, issuing warnings, or asking violators to leave the community. All decisions will be final. Examples of inappropriate communications include personal attacks, promoting a personal agenda, inflammatory remarks, proselytizing, coercion, or disrespectful comments.

Updated Policies

  • Email addresses have been removed from profiles. Please note that any posted personal information can be viewed by other visitors to the board and could lead to unsolicited contact. Therefore, you may wish to refrain from sharing your phone number.
  • No medical advice may be given on the message boards.
  • You may discuss and are encouraged to share your personal medical decisions and how you came to them.
  • Names of physicians and health care providers can be posted on the boards; however, health care providers may not be quoted by name on the boards unless quoting a published article or study.
  • Hospitals and facilities may be mentioned by name. Negative posts about medical care or a procedure are allowed if they do not refer to a particular facility or physician.
  • Full articles cannot be posted on the site. Links to articles and abstracts may be shared.
  • Site visitors with a medical background are asked to refrain from sharing medical advice or stating their credentials.
  • FORCE cannot monitor communications that occur outside the FORCE message boards. However, we encourage anyone who has concerns regarding a communication with another FORCE member to notify us via email at moderator@facingourrisk.org. We will treat your email confidentially. Any such incidents will be reviewed by our message boards moderation committee.
  • In order to protect FORCE from liability, if you are posting about a negative medical experience or how you were treated, you must follow these guidelines:
    • If you are going to name a doctor or facility, please include only factual information and refrain from making assumptions or generally unverifiable comments. Posts that include information or opinions beyond what is factual and documented may not include the name of the doctor or facility or any other identifying information.
    • We welcome posts about YOUR own experiences, but respectively ask you not to post any secondhand comments: "I heard....," "someone told me, etc.," about a specific doctor or facility.
    • If you want others to contact you with their experiences, please provide your email.
    • If you want to share information that does not comply with these guidelines, please provide your email address so that people can contact you outside of our forums
  • Posts that do not meet these guidelines will be removed from the message board. We do not have the resources or capacity to personally answer every email to the moderators nor to assist with the writing of posts to fit guidelines. If users repeatedly post messages that are not in keeping with the guidelines or the support nature of the boards, we reserve the right to disallow posting by IP address or user name. We will make every effort to allow people to post. Those who cannot follow guidelines may be temporarily blocked from posting. Users may be given another opportunity to follow these guidelines and use the boards for their intended purpose of support. Visitors who disrupt the boards on an ongoing basis will no longer be allowed to post.
  • Examples:
    • Okay to post. (Factual information that includes doctor's name): I had a TRAM reconstruction with Dr. [Name] in 2003. In 2007 I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the incision line. Has anyone else had this happen? Feel free to email me at email@email.com.
    • Not okay to post. (Secondhand and speculative information that includes doctor's name): I heard from someone that Dr. [Name] is leaving too much fallopian tube tissue behind when performing BSO.
    • Okay to post. (Complaint about experience without doctor's name): I had a mastectomy with implants 4 weeks ago. My breasts are still bruised, swollen and uneven, and I have horrible scars. My doctor told me not to worry about it. Has anyone else had the same type of indifference from their doctor? What did you do about it? Feel free to email me at email@email.com.
    • Not okay to post .(Complaint with doctor's name): I had surgery with Dr. [Name] last month. He really botched my reconstruction and now won't do anything about it.
  • It has come to our attention that some facilities and health care providers may request that their patients sign a contract that agrees they will not discuss their experience with the doctor or facility on the Internet. Such documents are not widely used within the medical community.

    Contracts of this type will limit honest sharing of patient outcomes. Although the contract prohibits the patient from publishing opinions of any type – positive or negative – FORCE is concerned that the contract could introduce a bias in our message boards favoring positive comments by those who have signed the agreement. If you have signed such a contract, please understand that FORCE cannot be responsible for removing messages that may be posted in breach of any contract. If FORCE learns that a physician or facility requests that its patients sign a contract of this type, FORCE will request that people using our message boards refrain from mentioning of the name of the physician or facility. Additionally, any posts containing mention of a facility requiring such a document will be edited to remove the physician name, facility name, or other identifying features.

For those reading the boards we offer the following suggestions and reminders:

  • Our boards should not be used for medical advice. You should speak with a qualified health care provider about all medical choices.
  • Prior to choosing a health care provider, we strongly recommend that you conduct your own research about the physician and speak with other patients who have had experience with his or her care. Please do not use information from these message boards as the sole input for choosing a health care provider.
  • If you disagree with the content of a post, be respectful of the others.
  • It is natural that the topics of discussion at FORCE may evoke emotions of sadness, frustration, and even anger. The information, choices, or decisions made by others should not be taken personally. If you find yourself overwhelmed by emotion regarding any topic on the board, you should seek care from a qualified mental health care provider.

We reserve the right to deny access to the message boards to anyone who violates these guidelines or is otherwise disruptive to the community.

Connect with others.

 Call our Helpline

Our helpline offers peer support for people concerned about hereditary cancer. All calls are confidential. Call any time.

Personal Fundraising

FORCE has outreach groups throughout the United States and in Essex, United Kingdom that meet periodically to offer peer support, and share resources.