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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Posts Tagged ‘brca testing’

August 22, 2013

Hereditary Cancer Impact Is More Than Skin Deep

Articles about Angelina Jolie’s revelation that she underwent genetic testing and prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction often emphasize her as one of the world’s most beautiful women, who is still beautiful after all that she has endured. This message can be reassuring; by going public, Ms. Jolie put a more positive spin on the stigmatizing effect … + read more

July 7, 2013

Fear, Bravery and HBOC

Recently the topics of BRCA and bravery have been in the news. Previvor Angelina Jolie made headlines when she announced that she carries a BRCA1 mutation and underwent prophylactic bilateral mastectomies. Singer Melissa Etheridge, a BRCA2 mutation carrier and a breast cancer survivor, labeled Jolie’s choice of BPM as “fearful” rather than “brave.” Personally, I … + read more

June 21, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 50: Recovery

The first time I met with my running coach, she had me run a quarter mile as fast as I could. As I neared the finish, I remember feeling like I was drowning. As soon as I finished she had me slow to a jog without stopping and timed me as I continued this very … + read more

June 6, 2013

Increased Awareness Leads to Accelerated Research

About a million people in the United States carry a BRCA mutation; less than 10% of them are aware of their elevated cancer threat. Recent media coverage of Angelina Jolie’s BRCA status and risk-reducing double mastectomy has brought unprecedented attention to these issues. These reports will narrow the awareness gap while erasing stigmas that are … + read more

May 24, 2013

Maximizing Access to BRCA Testing by Involving Genetics Experts

Note: The below is an updated version of a post in 2008 right after the documentary In the Family was released, and actress Christina Applegate announced she had a BRCA 1 mutation. Five years later, this post is more relevant than ever.  As the dust clears since Angelina Jolie went public with her BRCA status, the impact … + read more

April 3, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 50: Transformations

For many people, turning 50 is an unappreciated milestone that they would rather not acknowledge, but I feel differently. Some people find themselves going through a midlife crisis; me, I’m facing 50 by signing up and training for my first marathon! Like most of us I’ve undergone many transformations in my life. Some have been … + read more

March 16, 2013

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

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

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

February 11, 2013

Progress in Hereditary Cancer Treatment Research

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

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

December 12, 2012

Clinical Trials for Hereditary Cancer: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This blog is a call to action! Please read on, and then post, blog, tweet, retweet, and share about this issue so that we can assure that hereditary cancer research continues! The call for more research is a constant theme for all diseases including cancer, and sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated by the slow pace … + read more

December 3, 2012

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Screening Mammography

Two recent research articles have questioned the value of mammograms and opened up a dialogue about possible benefits and harms of screening for breast cancer. One study looked at mammography in the general population and the other in high-risk young women. Both studies raise interesting concerns, but neither provides the definitive answers needed to dismiss … + read more

November 10, 2012

13 Things About Breast Reconstruction

A guest blog by Kathy Steligo Although many women choose to forego breast reconstruction, it is almost always an option after mastectomy. Research shows that reconstruction can improve psychological well-being and quality of life, and result in improved body image and self-esteem. Most women are not informed about breast reconstruction before their mastectomy, however, so … + read more

October 31, 2012

A Healing Light From Within

Below are excerpts from our Joining FORCEs conference welcome address and a keynote talk that I recently gave in Chicago. Fifteen years ago, there was no FORCE. Back then, hereditary cancer was scarier and lonelier than it is today. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, it was caught early. I … + read more

October 15, 2012

The Cavalry Has Arrived!

When I founded FORCE in 1999 it was in the early days of BRCA discovery and testing. I had my own BRCA testing in 1998, over a year after my diagnosis with breast cancer, and only after learning about hereditary cancer by reading a magazine article about BRCA. I immediately understood the significance and power … + read more

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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