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 Program Looks Behind the Headlines to Make Sense of Cancer Research

August 24, 2015

FORCE is proud to launch our new program, eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS). Funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the XRAYS program was developed to meet a growing need as more and more medical research articles on breast cancer are making the headlines. With the rise of social media, more consumers are turning … + read more

Voices: Widening the Conversation Previvor Discourses and the Power of Stories

April 24, 2015

by Amy Boesky My sisters and I grew up inside a family story that felt, for all its power, isolating. On my mother’s side, an inherited pattern of ovarian cancer was unmistakable. Her mother, aunt, and first cousin all died of it in their 40s. In the 1980s, my father (a doctor) convinced my mother … + read more

Voices of FORCE: Get Off the Sidelines and Help Win the War on HBOC

September 19, 2014

by Melanie Nix I’m participating in the ABOUT Network because it benefits the HBOC community. My mother always encouraged me to get off of the sidelines. Twenty-four years after her death from metastatic breast cancer when HBOC information was in its infancy, I’m still guided by her words. A few months before my triple-negative breast … + read more

Voices of FORCE: A Powerful FORCE for Research

September 12, 2014

by Marleah Dean Kruzel, PhD When I was eight, my mother found a barely noticeable breast lump. I watched her undergo surgery, chemotherapy, nausea, hair loss, radiation, and reconstruction. Though scared, I was determined to be involved in her recovery, as much as an eight-year-old could be. Becoming involved has helped me cope with my … + read more

Voices of FORCE

April 18, 2014

In each issue, we’ll invite a FORCE member to share an insightful perspective, a valuable experience, or a touching story to help others who are dealing with issues of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer Participating in Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials by David Dessert I am a pancreatic cancer survivor with a BRCA2 deleterious mutation. Although … + read more

Matching Participants to Clinical Trials is Critical to
HBOC Research

March 21, 2014

by Lisa Rezende, PhD and Sue Friedman Everything we know and will learn in the future about hereditary cancer risks, screening, and treatment comes from years of scientific research and the direct participation of thousands of volunteers. Finding and enrolling in research studies gives us the ability to directly improve health care and to help … + read more

What is Pelvic Health Rehabilitation? What is Pelvic Health Rehabilitation?

September 20, 2013

by Tracy Sher, MPT, CSCS Postoperative adhesions, also known as scar tissue, occur in a large percentage of patients who have hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or other types of major gynecologic surgery. Pelvic health rehabilitation is a conservative approach to restoring normal function and improving quality of life after gynecological surgery to help: relieve scar tissue improve … + read more

Voices: Sisters Survivors for the Long Run

September 17, 2013

by Corea Bergenser Smith At age 38, I was diagnosed with breast cancer after returning from Operation Enduring Freedom. I did everything I was supposed to do — I ate well, exercised and breast-fed my kids — why did I have breast cancer? When my genetic test came back positive for BRCA2, it was a … + read more

Challenges to Hereditary Cancer Research

September 6, 2013

by Sue Friedman Much progress has been made in cancer research in the 15 years since I learned about my mutation and founded FORCE. Most exciting are advances in “personalized medicine” that focus on the unique traits of a subset of the general population, such as people with HBOC. HBOC cancers behave differently than other … + read more

Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

March 22, 2013

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

Creating More Resources for High-Risk Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Screening

March 16, 2013

Women at high risk for breast cancer are not receiving the information, access to care, or support they need to address their elevated cancer risk. Despite guidelines on risk assessment and management, many women are not accurately informed about their high-risk status or the risk-management options required to make informed health care decisions. Some high-risk … + read more

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

February 24, 2013

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

Progress in Hereditary Cancer Treatment Research

February 11, 2013

Recently I participated in the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) semi-annual meeting in San Diego. The GOG is part of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, whose role is to promote and support clinical trials for cancers. As one of the members of the Patient Advocacy Committee of GOG I participate by providing the consumer perspective and … + read more

Drawing Attention To High-risk Screening

January 17, 2013

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

Happy New Year/Happy Birthday FORCE

January 1, 2013

Dearest Friends, Please indulge me in posting my annual new year/birthday wish to FORCE on my blog. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by! Tonight, FORCE and this community will celebrate our 14th birthday. This year even more than previous years it feels as though we have grown and accomplished so much! FORCE was … + 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