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.

| 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

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

XRAYS Blog: Sharsheret Webinar Helps People Make Sense of Breaking News in Breast and Ovarian Cancer

November 3, 2018

by Elaine Gottesman Sharsheret is one of the partner organization for FORCE’s XRAYS Program. Sharsheret’s webinar, “Breaking News In Breast And Ovarian Cancer And What Should I Make Of It?” recapped some of the key takeaways from the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Annual Meeting. Featuring Dr. Deanna Attai, of UCLA Health Burbank Breast … + read more

PARP Inhibitors Take Center Stage

October 29, 2018

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

Addressing Previvors’ Needs for Affordable Access to Care

September 28, 2018

by Lisa Schlager (Note: Adapted from an article in the September 2018 issue of The Oncology Nurse) In 2010, FORCE spearheaded passage of a Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day. This year, Previvor Day is October 3rd. Over the past 8 years, the number of people … + read more

Headline Hype: Media Report on BRCA1 Variant Research Plays on Fears

September 21, 2018

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Most people who have genetic testing for BRCA1, BRCA2 or other genes associated with cancer risk receive either a positive or a negative test result. A positive genetic test result indicates that a change called a mutation was found in a gene which is associated with increased cancer risk. A negative genetic test … + read more

Starting a Conversation about My Family Health History

September 12, 2018

by Shannon Pulaski Ten days into my journey into parenthood, my own mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  It shook my family’s entire world.  And when the earthquake settled, we realized we were only just beginning to understand our new reality.  We were fortunate that her doctor knew to test her for the BRCA gene.  … + 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