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Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

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National Hereditary Cancer Research Fund

An Urgent Need

by Sue Friedman

One of my favorite conference moments was announcing the FORCE Hereditary Cancer Research Fund to drive the research that will lead to better detection, prevention, and treatment of hereditary cancer. Why do we need an HBOC-specific research fund?

  • Our community shoulders a disproportionate cancer burden that must be addressed. Although almost 1 in 500 people (about .2% of the population) are genetically predisposed to breast or ovarian cancer, they represent about 10% of all breast and ovarian cancer diagnoses — for every 998 people in the general population who together carry 90% of the cancer risk, just two of us bear the remaining 10% of the risk.
  • Funding for hereditary cancer is limited. Most cancer research funding focuses on larger cancer populations, and obtaining research funding isn't easy: government research funding is limited and the request process is lengthy.
  • Our cancers are different. Hereditary cancers respond differently to certain treatments than sporadic cancers and require a different research approach. Because hereditary cancers often occur at a younger age before most people begin screening, and standard detection may be less effective, studying HBOC families is the quickest route to discovering better methods of detection and prevention.
  • Options for prevention, detection, and treatment of hereditary cancer are inadequate. Too many people are still being diagnosed with and succumbing to hereditary cancers.

As the voice of hereditary cancer, FORCE has unmatched insight into the research needs and priorities of our community. We are uniquely positioned to identify and expedite the research that will most benefit our community. Our National Hereditary Cancer Research Fund will be the first of its kind. A panel of experts and consumers will review proposals to ensure that any research funded will significantly benefit the high-risk community.

We need your help to build this fund from the ground up. Visit our website to learn more about this effort and how you can support it.

Fix our GenesThe Fix Our Genes campaign will endow our research fund.


We welcome your feedback. Please send your comments to Sue Friedman or fill out our Newsletter Feedback Form.

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