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’

March 1, 2017

Making Postmastectomy Decisions: The Right Input is Critical

Note: This is part 3 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAYS review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” In part 1 of the series, FORCE volunteer, Robin Karlin discusses her decisions after mastectomy, and her feelings post-reconstruction. In part 2, Sue Friedman talks about the affect of … + read more

February 23, 2017

Post-Reconstruction Thoughts on “Going Flat”

Note: This is part 1 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAYS review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” by Robin Karlin Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer,” brings much-needed awareness to the option of skipping reconstruction after mastectomies for breast … + read more

January 31, 2017

MEDIOLA: A Clinical Trial Combining a PARP Inhibitor with an Immunotherapy Drug

By Ding Wang, MD and Catherine Jenovai Immune system and cancer Every day our bodies are exposed to various injuries that may damage our cells. The damaged cells with certain types of genetic defects are tagged as abnormal and removed by our immune system. If something goes wrong and the cells are not removed by … + read more

January 26, 2017

Flawed Research and Reporting on the “Angelina Effect” Could Threaten Access to HBOC Care

by Lisa Schlager, Lisa Rezende, PhD and Sue Friedman “Angeline Effect” Angelina Jolie’s May 2013 New York Times editorial “My Medical Choice,” which detailed her decision to have a double mastectomy because she carries a BRCA1 mutation brought unprecedented attention to hereditary cancer and BRCA genetic testing. This “Angelina Effect” created an avalanche of public … + read more

January 12, 2017

Update on Hormone Therapy for Previvors

by Alexandria Groves and Lisa Rezende, PhD National guidelines recommend that women with mutations in BRCA have risk-reducing removal of their ovaries and tubes, (also known as salpingo-oophorectomy or RRSO) either between the ages of 35-40 or after they are done having children. RRSO greatly reduces the risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal cancer, … + read more

January 5, 2017

FORCE Collaborates on Genetics Toolkit for Health Care Providers to Help Improve Patient Care

by Alexandria Groves In October The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) announced the release of the SGO Genetics Toolkit to provide critical and important information to health professionals, patients and their families, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of gynecologic cancers and genetics. The Toolkit is the result of a collaboration between experts from … + read more

December 31, 2016

Happy New Year HBOC Community! Happy 18th Birthday, FORCE!

Note: This post, which originally was published on 1/1/15 has been updated and reposted on 12/31/16. New Year’s is always a nostalgic time for me. Tonight at just a few seconds after the stroke of midnight, FORCE and the community we have built will turn 18! In 1999, I founded FORCE, not because I made … + read more

December 22, 2016

Voices of FORCE: My Journey with Cancer: From Witness to Young Previvor

by Alexandria Groves My journey “with cancer” began when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. I’m the oldest of three daughters: I was seven at the time, Kiersten was five, and Victoria was one. Why did my “journey with cancer” begin back then? Because since then, breast cancer and … + read more

December 8, 2016

Tips for Sharing the Gift of Knowledge with Relatives

by Sue Friedman Members of our community who have already had genetic testing often ask for advice on how to speak about it to their relatives. Some common barriers to testing that we hear voiced by people are: concern over the cost of testing access to genetics experts family communication challenges With the holidays coming, … + read more

December 6, 2016

What Does the Recent Election Mean For the HBOC Community?

by Lisa Schlager The results of the 2016 election and the pending change in administration have triggered renewed focus on the future of healthcare. FORCE released an official statement on the election’s impact on the HBOC community and I hope to address additional issues here. The hereditary cancer community has good reason to be concerned. … + read more

November 14, 2016

Voices of FORCE: A BRCA Mutation is a Factor in Pancreatic Cancer

By Rona Greenberg Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is part of my family history. My grandmother, Rebecca, for whom I am named, died from breast/ovarian cancer in1934; my mother was ten years old. My mother died from the same cancer in 1967; I was nineteen years old with three younger sisters. In 1997, I was … + read more

November 1, 2016

Learn About Hereditary Pancreatic Cancer

by Lisa Rezende, PhD November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. FORCE wants to raise awareness of the risk of pancreatic cancer in the hereditary cancer community. Pancreatic cancer is rare but BRCA carriers have a high risk, up to 5% compared to the 1.5% for the general population. Between BRCA carriers, the risk is higher … + read more

October 25, 2016

Guest Blog: Genetic Variants of Uncertain Significance

by Nancy Ledbetter Early on in my genetics nursing career, I remember explaining the possibility of a variant of uncertain significance (VUS) to a patient, who laughed and said, “Variant of uncertain significance? That sounds like something out of Monty Python!” I had to admit she had a good point. It sounds like a ridiculous … + read more

October 12, 2016

Guest Blog: From Previvor to Survivor

By Angela Schmidt Fishbaugh, M.Ed., CET II I tested positive in 2009 for the BRCA1 deleterious mutated gene. Back then, at the age of 41 I became a previvor. I made the decision to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy followed by a total hysterectomy. I had both surgeries within eight weeks of one another. At that … + read more

September 30, 2016

HBOC Week Special: Inherited Mutations in BRCA1/2 and Related Genes More Common Than Expected in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer

Guest blog by Heather H. Cheng, MD, PhD Researchers have long been aware that prostate cancer carries a substantial familial risk. New data (Robinson, et al Cell 2015) from the Stand Up To Cancer-Prostate Cancer Foundation International Dream Team collaborative group examined the genetic sequence of 150 tumors from men with advanced, hormone-resistant, metastatic prostate … + read more

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