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

March 8, 2019

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

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

February 22, 2019

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

Celebrating Twenty Years of Support

February 20, 2019

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

Highlights from the 2018 Joining FORCEs Conference

January 31, 2019

Our Joining FORCEs conference informs, inspires and supports the hereditary cancer community. Judging from the feedback, last year’s October conference (our 11th!) once again successfully hit the mark. More than 700 people from the U.S. and other countries traveled to San Diego looking for more answers, deeper understanding, a stronger sense of community, clarity on … + read more

My BRCA2 Story: Mastectomy Without Reconstruction

January 22, 2019

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

Breast Implants: Conflicting Views and Hyped Headlines

January 19, 2019

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Since the early 1990’s scientists have researched whether silicone gel-filled implants increase the risk of connective tissue and autoimmune diseases. A recent study published in the Annals of Surgery and two accompanying editorials highlight the challenges associated with studying this connection. At the present time, there is no conclusive scientific evidence … + read more

Book: The Big Discovery

January 10, 2019

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

A 20th Anniversary Message to Sue and to You: Words of Inspiration From FORCE

January 10, 2019

  Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, reflect, remember years past and to be hopeful for the future. New Year’s is always a nostalgic time for FORCE, as it is for many people, but the upcoming holiday is especially auspicious, because FORCE and our hereditary cancer community will turn 20! After two decades of raising awareness, … + read more

Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy

January 8, 2019

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

New Year’s Then (20 Years Ago) and Now

December 31, 2018

by Sue Friedman Happy 20th anniversary to FORCE and our community! I founded FORCE on New Year’s Eve, 1998, just a few strokes before midnight. It had been a year of great personal challenge and change for me. I was 35, had just completed treatment for recurrent breast cancer, learned I had a BRCA2 mutation, … + read more

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

December 19, 2018

Some books and movies make us think.  Some make us laugh or cry. Some are educational and others are just plain fun.  And, then some do all of the above.  Below is a list of personal memoirs, self-help and reference books created to share information and stories of those who have experienced hereditary cancer. You … + read more

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

November 28, 2018

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

Where’s FORCE? July – October

November 27, 2018

by Lisa Schlager This issue of “Where’s FORCE” features an overview of the many places FORCE staff and volunteers have been in the recent months. July and August NRG Oncology is a nonprofit research organization formed to conduct oncologic clinical research and to broadly disseminate study results for informing clinical decision making and healthcare policy. … + read more

I am Thankful for YOU This Holiday Season

November 26, 2018

By Marcy Rubic, VP of Leadership Gifts What are you thankful for this season?  At FORCE, we are thankful for our generous supporters. Because of YOUR dedication and support, FORCE helps tens of thousands of families affected by hereditary cancer each year and makes lifesaving resources available to so many more. Every person who is … + read more

Updates to the Practice Guidelines for Hereditary Cancer

November 9, 2018

by Piri Welcsh The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a nonprofit network of 27 leading cancer centers. The NCCN publishes evidence-based guidelines for oncology. These guidelines help to set the standard of care. Guidelines are updated annually as new research is published.  Below we highlight several recent updates, which are important to the hereditary … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

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

Join a Local Group

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

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered