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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April 24, 2020

A Survivor’s Insight: There is Always a Silver Lining

by Elaine Kennedy, member of FORCE’s Board of Directors The global Covid-19 pandemic has us waiting anxiously for the next official update. All plans, big and small, are on hold. Our lives and everything we want to do seems to be in the hands of doctors and scientists. The situation is continuously described as unprecedented.  … + 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

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 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.

May 7, 2019

Anti-vaccine Hype is a Threat to People with Cancer

Cancer treatment is challenging enough, without the added threat of a measles outbreak caused by decreased vaccinations.

April 11, 2019

Devin Sidell’s Lady Parts The Film

Devin Sidell is an actress and a previvor who is sharing her story in an upcoming dark comedy feature film called Lady Parts in order to bring more awareness and normalization to BRCA-positive women undergoing preventative surgeries. “I am an actress, an artist, a storyteller. Yet, I had never thought about turning my own story into art … + read more

November 9, 2018

Updates to the Practice Guidelines for Hereditary Cancer

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

October 29, 2018

PARP Inhibitors Take Center Stage

by Piri Welcsh, PhD “PARP inhibitor therapy, I think it’s fair to say, very likely would not be part of our armamentarium now had it not been for FORCE.” These were the words of Mary-Claire King, PhD as she accepted her 2018 FORCE Spirit of Empowerment award.  “Armamentarium,” I confess, was a word I had … + read more

June 17, 2018

Solving for Y: Reaching Men About Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate And Related Cancers (HBOC)

by Sue Friedman Half of all people with an inherited BRCA, ATM, CHEK2, PALB2 or other mutation associated with HBOC are men. Nevertheless, the majority of awareness, research, and resources have focused on genetic testing in women. A recent article in JAMA highlights this disparity in BRCA testing between men and women. Emerging information on … + read more

April 27, 2018

The Lights of May

Special note: In honor of Mother’s Day 2018, we’re recycling this post that was originally published in 2012. This inspirational post is as relevant as when first written 6 years ago.  by Sue Friedman We were late.  The last hint of twilight faded and although we were close to home, I was nervous.  It was … + read more

March 7, 2018

Because My Daughter Will Never Have To Go Through What I Went Through

by Ellyn Davidson “Your daughter will never go through what you went through.” That simple statement had a profound impact on me. Words I will never forget and words which fuel my passion and energy into an organization that has changed the face of hereditary cancer. I was 36 when I was diagnosed with Stage … + read more

January 12, 2017

FORCE XRAY Program Empowers Young Breast Cancer Survivors

Unconfuse the News with the FORCE XRAY Program When Kimberly Jackson received a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32 while breastfeeding her 6-month old daughter and caring for her 3-½ year old daughter, she fell into shock. In an attempt to understand more about her diagnosis and potential treatments, she began to sort … + read more

March 22, 2013

Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

Recently a dear friend sent me a link to an article in the February 1996 issue of Nature Medicine. The article by journalist Adam Marcus covered a media event and panel of women’s rights advocates expressing concern about Myriad’s impending patenting of the BRCA1 gene. Panelists declared unregulated genetic testing to be the coming century’s … + read more

February 24, 2013

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

In 2008 FORCE conducted a survey to learn about research priorities for the HBOC community. We learned that women want better methods for ovarian cancer detection and prevention for ourselves, our children, and future generations. For this reason, we have worked closely with researchers exploring new options and we have carefully followed and shared with … + read more

January 17, 2013

Drawing Attention To High-risk Screening

Reports are everywhere in the media about which celebrities underwent prophylactic mastectomy, the difficulty of their decision, and why these women made the choice. These media reports can be helpful to our community as they raise awareness of hereditary cancer risk and risk-management and remove the stigma of mastectomy. However, given the media focus on … + 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