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’

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

May 30, 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

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

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

December 31, 2018

New Year’s Then (20 Years Ago) and Now

by Sue Friedman Happy 20th anniversary to FORCE and our community! I founded FORCE on New Year’s Eve, 1998, just a few strokes before midnight. It had been a year of great personal challenge and change for me. I was 35, had just completed treatment for recurrent breast cancer, learned I had a BRCA2 mutation, … + 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 28, 2018

Addressing Previvors’ Needs for Affordable Access to Care

by Lisa Schlager (Note: Adapted from an article in the September 2018 issue of The Oncology Nurse) In 2010, FORCE spearheaded passage of a Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day. This year, Previvor Day is October 3rd. Over the past 8 years, the number of people … + read more

September 21, 2018

Headline Hype: Media Report on BRCA1 Variant Research Plays on Fears

by Piri Welcsh, PhD Most people who have genetic testing for BRCA1, BRCA2 or other genes associated with cancer risk receive either a positive or a negative test result. A positive genetic test result indicates that a change called a mutation was found in a gene which is associated with increased cancer risk. A negative genetic test … + 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

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