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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Archive for 2019

October 9, 2019

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

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

October 9, 2019

FORCE Book Blog

by Samantha Paige I missed half of my senior year of college for a thyroidectomy and radiation after a sudden thyroid cancer diagnosis weeks after my 21st birthday. I spent the following decade in and out of hospitals for follow-up testing, chronic migraines and PTSD-related anxiety, depression and panic attacks. At some point during that period, … + read more

October 7, 2019

Where’s FORCE?

by Lisa Schlager This issue of “Where’s FORCE?” features an overview of the many events in which FORCE staff and volunteers participated in recent months. May Supporting those affected by cancer is collaborative effort. The Cancer Community (C2) Awards honor a diverse and indispensable group, the unsung heroes of cancer care. This year, FORCE Executive … + read more

October 2, 2019

Luck Is More Than Just A Rainbow: A Previvor’s Story

The opportunity to have germline genetic testing coupled while having solid resources in place was my big lucky break. My “luck” has brought me immeasurable peace of mind for which I am deeply grateful.

September 30, 2019

My Experience As A Male Previvor

Note: In recognition of the last day of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the start of HBOC Week and in advance of Previvor Day, FORCE wants to remind people that men can be previvors too. Like women, men account for half of all mutation carriers. Male mutation carriers face challenges associated with their high risk for … + read more

September 24, 2019

Mystery Families and MRIs

by Piri Welcsh What is a ‘mystery family’ you may be thinking.  I guess you could define a mystery family in many ways.  Maybe it’s family with a mysterious past? A family who doesn’t know its origins or history? Or, maybe a family with a secret?  For me, a mystery family is a family with … + read more

September 16, 2019

The Gift of More Options

by Tanya Temkin Note: In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, FORCE is partnering with AstraZeneca to raise awareness of genetic testing for women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. FORCE volunteer Tanya Temkin shares her personal story of how genetic testing affected her treatment options. Two and a half years ago, my friend Marcie … + read more

August 29, 2019

The Mastectomy Club

by Katie Spittal I’m sitting in the Delta lounge at LaGuardia airport in New York City. This members-only club offers me free food and Wi-Fi to enjoy before I make the short, yet long journey from the airport over the river and into Manhattan. I flew in from Indiana to support my baby sister—she is … + read more

August 12, 2019

My CDH1 Mutation and Why I Chose Preventive Gastrectomy

by Jonathan Grossman On January 4, 2018, my mom died of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. She carried a CDH1 mutation that we only learned about after her diagnosis. Doctors diagnosed her with the disease roughly three years before she died. Originally, her doctors told her she had only months to live. The gene and cancer … + read more

August 9, 2019

Be Your Own Health Advocate! If Your Doctor Isn’t Asking You These Questions, Ask Them Yourself

All medical decisions come with tradeoffs, and people weigh risks and benefits differently. In the hereditary cancer community, we are constantly weighing our choices. These questions can bring our own goals into focus and can then be shared with our care team. Thinking about your goals, priorities and what matters to you most can help you make treatment decisions that are right for you.

August 7, 2019

FORCE Advocates Attend Project LEAD

by Jill Holdren; with Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, and Judy Plymale Introduction Five FORCE advocates—Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, Judy Plymale and Jill Holdren—recently had the opportunity to gather with more than 55 other advocates to attend Project LEAD, the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s (NBCC) prestigious week-long training on the science of … + read more

July 15, 2019

Breast Cancer Patients Need More Information on Precision Medicine, Tumor Testing and Genetics

by Sue Friedman (FORCE) with Janine Guglielmino (LBBC) When people are diagnosed with cancer, doctors perform tests to learn more about the cancer and the best way to treat it. Ongoing advances in medicine are making it possible for  doctors to look at the unique makeup of each patient and their tumor to choose the … + read more

July 11, 2019

Protect Yourself, Your Friends and Family from Fraudulent Genetic Testing

by Lisa Schlager As FORCE celebrates its 20th birthday, I too am commemorating a milestone.  It has been 20 years since I underwent genetic testing and learned that I carry a BRCA1 mutation. Some might look back at that fateful day and feel a sense of dread or sadness. I definitely experienced these and other … + read more

June 29, 2019

Hiding in Plain Sight: LGBTQ People and Clinical Trials

by Scout, MA, PhD I’m writing this on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the time when LGBTQ persons (mostly LGBTQ gender, nonconforming persons of color) stood up and fought back against systemic discrimination from the police. This whole month I have been seeing more pride observances than ever; corporations really seem to … + read more

June 27, 2019

Men Can Have Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Men have breast tissue too and any man can develop breast cancer. Men who are interested in breast reconstruction have several options to help restore the natural appearance of their chests.

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