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 ‘breast cancer prevention’

January 22, 2019

My BRCA2 Story: Mastectomy Without Reconstruction

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

January 10, 2019

Book: The Big Discovery

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

January 8, 2019

Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy

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

May 11, 2018

Battling BRCA: International Conference in Iceland on BRCA and Cancer

by Kristín Hannesdóttir and Anna Margrét Bjarnadóttir On March 10th, BRCA Iceland hosted its first international conference. Sue Friedman, Executive Director, Founder of FORCE, was the keynote speaker. In June 2017, we attended the FORCE conference in Orlando. We barely knew each other at the time, but we are both BRCA2 carriers, have lost several … + read more

February 1, 2018

Book: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook 

 by Kathy Steligo I have more than a nodding acquaintance with breast cancer. Diagnosed twice, I’ve had seven biopsies, two lumpectomies, radiation therapy, sentinel node biopsy, genetic counseling, genetic testing, bilateral mastectomy, implant reconstruction, GAP reconstruction, fat grafting and multiple nipple and areola tattooing. Once I knew I was going to lose both my breasts, … + read more

November 20, 2017

Why is Mommy Having Surgery, She Looks Ok to Me

By: Heather Barnard I wish the circumstances were different, but the fact of the matter is, I come from a long line of women with breast cancer. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all suffered from it. While my grandmother was able to beat the odds way back in 1966, my own mother was not; she passed … + read more

May 18, 2017

Science and the Media: Help vs. Hype

by Piri Welcsh, PhD and Sue Friedman, DVM When making medical decisions, getting information right is more important than getting it fast. This is especially true for our community, when results of a genetic test or a breast biopsy can add a sense of urgency to medical decision-making. But finding factual data or input—help, not … + read more

May 11, 2017

Fueling Patient-Focused Health Care

by Melanie Nix I know a woman who has hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome. She is a triple negative breast cancer survivor. She has a BRCA1 gene mutation and is the fifth generation in her family to have breast cancer. She lost her youngest aunt to ovarian cancer after multiple battles with both … + read more

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 XRAY 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

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 “Angelina 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

August 24, 2015

XRAYS Program Looks Behind the Headlines to Make Sense of Cancer Research

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

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

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 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

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