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 testing’

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

We All Love a Good Book or Movie

Some books and movies make us think.  Some make us laugh or cry. Some are educational and others are just plain fun.  And, then some do all of the above.  Below is a list of personal memoirs, self-help and reference books created to share information and stories of those who have experienced hereditary cancer. You … + 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 2, 2019

Luck Is More Than Just A Rainbow: A Previvor’s Story

The opportunity to have germline genetic testing coupled while having solid resources in place was my big lucky break. My “luck” has brought me immeasurable peace of mind for which I am deeply grateful.

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 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 15, 2019

Breast Cancer Patients Need More Information on Precision Medicine, Tumor Testing and Genetics

by Sue Friedman (FORCE) with Janine Guglielmino (LBBC) When people are diagnosed with cancer, doctors perform tests to learn more about the cancer and the best way to treat it. Ongoing advances in medicine are making it possible for  doctors to look at the unique makeup of each patient and their tumor to choose the … + 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

June 27, 2019

Men Can Have Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Men have breast tissue too and any man can develop breast cancer. Men who are interested in breast reconstruction have several options to help restore the natural appearance of their chests.

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

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

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