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FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.

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Current Actions

Statement Regarding New ACS Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

The American Cancer Society (ACS) released new breast cancer screening guidelines, raising the recommended age for beginning annual screening from 40 to 45, and endorsing biennial screenings beginning at age 55. In addition, the new recommendations suggest physicians should forgo clinical breast exams for women of any age. FORCE opposes the new guidelines. We continue to support breast cancer screening beginning at age 40 for women with no known family history of cancer, and encourage young women to be strong self-advocates for their health. Read our official statement on the newest ACS guidelines.

Response to USPSTF Draft Guidelines on Breast Cancer Screening

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine which conducts scientific reviews of and develops recommendations on the effectiveness of preventive services.The task force released their new draft guidelines on Breast Cancer Screening. Once finalized, these recommendations will replace current guidelines that were published in 2009. FORCE opposes many aspects of the proposed guidelines because we believe they will worsen existing disparities, lead to confusion, and cost the lives of women in the community that FORCE serves. Read more...

Law to Exempt Employee Wellness Plans from GINA Protections

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2008. The law prohibits insurance companies and employers from using a family history of disease or genetic test results to discriminate against people. A new law introduced into congress could weaken GINA and allow employers to require employees to provide genetic information in order to participate in company-sponsored wellness programs. Read our letter on this important issue.

FDA’s Regulatory Oversight of Next Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Tests

Next generation sequencing (NGS) describes new technologies that allow rapid sequencing of large segments of an individual’s DNA. NGS technology has the potential to accelerate “personalized” or “precision” medicine, the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. Unlike other laboratory tests that typically detect a single or a defined number of substances to diagnose a limited set of conditions, a single NGS test can identify thousands -- even millions -- of genetic variants and the results of that test could be used to diagnose or predict an individual’s risk of developing many different conditions or diseases. The FDA is drafting plans for regulatory oversight of NGS. FORCE submitted this testimony at a public hearing on recommendations for their regulatory plan.

Recommendations for Population-Wide BRCA Testing

New research and public comments have recently raised the subject of expanding BRCA genetic testing to all women of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, or offering testing to every woman in the U.S. as part of routine medical care.  FORCE is working with its scientific advisory board and other experts to evaluate these proposed changes in health care practice. Download a copy of our brief statement on this issue. We plan to convene a forum of experts at our 2015 Joining FORCEs Conference to discuss the many aspects of the topic and will publish a white paper based on conclusions from this session.

FDA Approval of Lynparza (Olaparib)

On December 19, 2014, the FDA announced approval of Lynparza (also known as olaparib) for women with BRCA mutations who have ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer, and who responded favorably to their initial treatment. FORCE has been a strong advocate for PARP inhibitor research for nearly a decade. This is the first FDA-approved PARP inhibitor, and it is a great win for the HBOC and BRCA community. Read more...

USPSTF Guidelines for BRCA Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine which conducts scientific reviews of and develops recommendations on the effectiveness of a broad range of preventive services. In December 2013, the USPSTF released new guidelines for Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing for BRCA-Related Cancer in Women. Read more...


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