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’

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.

August 7, 2019

FORCE Advocates Attend Project LEAD

by Jill Holdren; with Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, and Judy Plymale Introduction Five FORCE advocates—Ana Lopez, Roxana Lopez, Debbie Setuain, Judy Plymale and Jill Holdren—recently had the opportunity to gather with more than 55 other advocates to attend Project LEAD, the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s (NBCC) prestigious week-long training on the science of … + read more

July 11, 2019

Protect Yourself, Your Friends and Family from Fraudulent Genetic Testing

by Lisa Schlager As FORCE celebrates its 20th birthday, I too am commemorating a milestone.  It has been 20 years since I underwent genetic testing and learned that I carry a BRCA1 mutation. Some might look back at that fateful day and feel a sense of dread or sadness. I definitely experienced these and other … + read more

May 2, 2019

Improving Memory in Menopause: the IMPRES Study

By Joanna Marks Ask any woman who has undergone a risk-reducing salpingo oophorectomy (RRSO) about recovery and you will hear about both the physical and emotional challenges of this process. If ovaries are removed prior to a woman’s natural menopause transition, she will likely enter premature menopause. For many women, cognitive complaints (like difficulty concentrating … + read more

May 1, 2019

Where’s FORCE?

This issue of “Where’s FORCE?” features an overview of the many events in which FORCE staff and volunteers participated during the past few months. December December is often a slow time due to the holidays, but the FORCE team kept busy. Our research team—Executive Director Sue Friedman, Vice President of Education Piri Welcsh, and Director … + read more

April 11, 2019

Devin Sidell’s Lady Parts The Film

Devin Sidell is an actress and a previvor who is sharing her story in an upcoming dark comedy feature film called Lady Parts in order to bring more awareness and normalization to BRCA-positive women undergoing preventative surgeries. “I am an actress, an artist, a storyteller. Yet, I had never thought about turning my own story into art … + read more

April 1, 2019

Update: FDA Meeting on Breast Implant Safety

by Lisa Schlager Breast implant safety is a hot topic. We recently published an XRAYS review that shed some light on the importance of well-designed research and reliable information about breast implants. Last week, I attended and made public remarks at a 2-day meeting on breast implants hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration … + read more

March 8, 2019

A Deep Dive into Disparities: The Challenges and Opportunities of Reaching Out to the Underserved

By Amy Wu I recently had the privilege of spending two days at a brainstorming session with a group of doctors, scientists, researchers, advocates and fellow survivors (myself included), all of us a sounding board for the California Breast Cancer Research Program. The goal was to identify and create research projects on breast cancer. One … + read more

February 22, 2019

FORCE and Other Groups Meet with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

by Lisa Schlager   In 2018, Medicare issued a National Coverage Determination (NCD) that added coverage of tumor testing for people with advanced cancer. Tumor testing can help those with advanced cancers choose treatment options. While the decision increases access to tumor testing, under some circumstances the policy will restrict access to genetic testing for … + 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