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 ‘Genetic counseling’

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

May 30, 2019

Alert: Cancer Genetic Testing Should Be Performed in the Health Care Setting

by Lisa Schlager and Sue Friedman There is a flood of information available about genetic tests for cancer risk in the media, and even at community events, such as health fairs and senior centers. If these promotions have caught your attention and you are considering testing, there is important information that you should know first. … + read more

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

November 28, 2018

You Don’t Need a Family History of Cancer to Benefit from Genetic Testing

by Sue Friedman Many people mistakenly believe that genetic testing for inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch Syndrome, and other genes is only appropriate for people with many cases of cancer in their family. National guidelines—based on the latest research—state otherwise. There are situations where a single case of cancer in a family is enough … + read more

September 12, 2018

Starting a Conversation about My Family Health History

by Shannon Pulaski Ten days into my journey into parenthood, my own mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  It shook my family’s entire world.  And when the earthquake settled, we realized we were only just beginning to understand our new reality.  We were fortunate that her doctor knew to test her for the BRCA gene.  … + read more

June 17, 2018

Solving for Y: Reaching Men About Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Prostate And Related Cancers (HBOC)

by Sue Friedman Half of all people with an inherited BRCA, ATM, CHEK2, PALB2 or other mutation associated with HBOC are men. Nevertheless, the majority of awareness, research, and resources have focused on genetic testing in women. A recent article in JAMA highlights this disparity in BRCA testing between men and women. Emerging information on … + read more

June 14, 2018

Me and My MSH6 Mutation: Ever Searching for Answers

by Aya It all started with Mother’s histopathology report on her partially resected small bowel. She had small bowel cancer. With my middle name being “I-want-to-know-more,” I asked for a pathology report after a post-op consultation with her surgeon where future management was discussed.  When I read the report at home, I noticed an aspect … + read more

May 14, 2018

Patrick Dempsey Presents CURE Media Ovarian Cancer Hero Awards

by Karen Kramer, FORCE Senior VP of Marketing “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” That phrase was often said by Patrick Dempsey’s character—Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka “McDreamy”)—on Grey’s Anatomy.  It is a statement that resonates with me and has been a guiding principle for FORCE since the organization’s founding in 1999 by Sue Friedman, … + 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

September 20, 2017

WISDOM Study: Investigating a Personalized Approach to Breast Cancer Screening

by Laura Esserman, MD Breast cancer screening today: A groundbreaking breast cancer screening study is underway in California and you may be eligible to be a part of it.  It’s called the Wisdom Study.  The aim is to determine if we can make screening better by personalizing each woman’s mammogram schedule, compared to the current … + 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

September 26, 2012

Previvor Day: A Solemn Celebration

In searching for inspiration for this blog, I went back to the FORCE message boards to remember when and how the previvor movement began.  When I started FORCE, long before the organization and programs grew to the national influence that we are today, we were merely a message board, a way for people in similar … + read more

August 6, 2012

Applying Personalized Medicine to Disease Screening and Prevention

Personalized medicine uses information about an individual’s genetic make-up to deliver the right screening, prevention, or treatment options at the right time to achieve the best medical outcome. Genetic counseling, risk assessment, and genetic testing to determine inherited predisposition for diseases are important and growing areas of personalized medicine that further this goal. Critics have … + read more

July 10, 2012

13 Things That Jewish People Should Know About Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, cancer was not on my radar. Despite the fact that my paternal grandmother had died young of so-called “abdominal cancer,” none of my health care providers indicated that I might be at high risk for cancer. My health care team treated my diagnosis of young-onset … + 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