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 ‘FORCE’

May 21, 2020

Clinical Trials are Essential for Improving Healthcare

by Kelly Owens, PhD, FORCE’s Director of Research and Education Clinical trials are an essential process for making progress in health care treatment. This essential research produces new and better methods of preventing, detecting and treating disease. Clinical trials are a type of research that tests whether a new procedure or drug works in the … + read more

May 20, 2020

Clinical Trials Helped Save My Life

by Susan Feinberg People are often surprised when I say I feel lucky. About one in 500 Americans inherit a BRCA gene mutation, which greatly increases a person’s chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer – and I’m one of them. I made the discovery shortly after turning 50, when I was diagnosed with breast … + read more

May 11, 2020

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stop and take a breath

by Ilana Beigel, MA, CCC-SLP, RYT, yoga educator and life coach, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts Watch Ilana’s recorded webinar, “Yoga and Mindfulness for Calm, Connection and Compassion During COVID-19.” Now more than ever, you might find yourself experiencing more anxiety, more worry and more stress. The breath is a portable self-care … + read more

April 24, 2020

A Survivor’s Insight: There is Always a Silver Lining

by Elaine Kennedy, member of FORCE’s Board of Directors The global Covid-19 pandemic has us waiting anxiously for the next official update. All plans, big and small, are on hold. Our lives and everything we want to do seems to be in the hands of doctors and scientists. The situation is continuously described as unprecedented.  … + read more

April 22, 2020

National Minority Cancer Awareness Month: Is the Cancer in Your Family Hereditary?

Hereditary cancers run in families. They are caused by a gene mutation that can be passed down from fathers and mothers to their sons and daughters. Hereditary cancers can occur in people of all races, ethnicities and walks of life. Everyone should ask themselves whether the cancer in their family may be hereditary. Which cancers … + read more

March 4, 2020

Learning I Had Lynch Syndrome Helped Save My Life

After five years with no evidence of disease (NED), Wenora Johnson’s colon cancer returned and her oncologist recommended genetic testing. She tested positive for Lynch syndrome, an inherited syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different types of cancer. Today, Wenora is a three-time cancer survivor, advocate and FORCE volunteer. With Lynch syndrome Awareness Day … + read more

February 19, 2020

New Medicare Genetic Testing Policy: What Does It Mean to Me?

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their final National Coverage Determination (NCD) on a type of genetic testing called next-generation sequencing (NGS), which enables laboratories to examine multiple genes at once. The policy paves the way for national coverage of tumor biomarker testing and multigene panel testing for hereditary cancer in specific … + read more

January 28, 2020

FORCE Supports Broader Access to Genetic Counseling

by Lisa Schlager Genetic testing is an increasingly important and complex service that can inform medical decisions and improve health outcomes. National standard-of-care guidelines recommend genetic counseling with a qualified expert before and after genetic testing. FORCE agrees that talking to a healthcare professional who has expertise in cancer genetics before and after genetic testing … + read more

October 9, 2019

Book: LAST CUT

by Samantha Paige I missed half of my senior year of college for a thyroidectomy and radiation after a sudden thyroid cancer diagnosis weeks after my 21st birthday. I spent the following decade in and out of hospitals for follow-up testing, chronic migraines and PTSD-related anxiety, depression and panic attacks. At some point during that period, … + read more

October 7, 2019

Where’s FORCE?

by Lisa Schlager This issue of “Where’s FORCE?” features an overview of the many events in which FORCE staff and volunteers participated in recent months. May Supporting those affected by cancer is collaborative effort. The Cancer Community (C2) Awards honor a diverse and indispensable group, the unsung heroes of cancer care. This year, FORCE Executive … + read more

September 24, 2019

Mystery Families and MRIs

by Piri Welcsh What is a ‘mystery family’ you may be thinking.  I guess you could define a mystery family in many ways.  Maybe it’s family with a mysterious past? A family who doesn’t know its origins or history? Or, maybe a family with a secret?  For me, a mystery family is a family with … + read more

September 16, 2019

The Gift of More Options

by Tanya Temkin Note: In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, FORCE is partnering with AstraZeneca to raise awareness of genetic testing for women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. FORCE volunteer Tanya Temkin shares her personal story of how genetic testing affected her treatment options. Two and a half years ago, my friend Marcie … + read more

August 29, 2019

The Mastectomy Club

by Katie Spittal I’m sitting in the Delta lounge at LaGuardia airport in New York City. This members-only club offers me free food and Wi-Fi to enjoy before I make the short, yet long journey from the airport over the river and into Manhattan. I flew in from Indiana to support my baby sister—she is … + read more

August 12, 2019

My CDH1 Mutation and Why I Chose Preventive Gastrectomy

by Jonathan Grossman On January 4, 2018, my mom died of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. She carried a CDH1 mutation that we only learned about after her diagnosis. Doctors diagnosed her with the disease roughly three years before she died. Originally, her doctors told her she had only months to live. The gene and cancer … + read more

August 9, 2019

Be Your Own Health Advocate! If Your Doctor Isn’t Asking You These Questions, Ask Them Yourself

All medical decisions come with tradeoffs, and people weigh risks and benefits differently. In the hereditary cancer community, we are constantly weighing our choices. These questions can bring our own goals into focus and can then be shared with our care team. Thinking about your goals, priorities and what matters to you most can help you make treatment decisions that are right for you.

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