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 ‘HBOC’

June 6, 2013

Increased Awareness Leads to Accelerated Research

About a million people in the United States carry a BRCA mutation; less than 10% of them are aware of their elevated cancer threat. Recent media coverage of Angelina Jolie’s BRCA status and risk-reducing double mastectomy has brought unprecedented attention to these issues. These reports will narrow the awareness gap while erasing stigmas that are … + read more

May 24, 2013

Maximizing Access to BRCA Testing by Involving Genetics Experts

Note: The below is an updated version of a post in 2008 right after the documentary In the Family was released, and actress Christina Applegate announced she had a BRCA 1 mutation. Five years later, this post is more relevant than ever.  As the dust clears since Angelina Jolie went public with her BRCA status, the impact … + read more

May 20, 2013

Every Story Matters

Since Angelina Jolie recently shared her personal experience with genetic testing and prophylactic surgery in the New York Times, public awareness of hereditary cancer is at an all-time high. The media surrounding Ms. Jolie’s revelations has also provided unparalleled opportunities for members of the HBOC community to share their personal accounts as well. How did … + read more

May 19, 2013

Proposed Guidelines on BRCA Testing Leave Many Gaps

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a government-supported independent panel of experts that reviews and develops recommendations on select preventive health services. The panel assigns letter grades to preventive services based on their opinion of strength of the research evidence. The task force just released a draft of their guidelines on genetic … + read more

April 3, 2013

Thoughts on Turning 50: Transformations

For many people, turning 50 is an unappreciated milestone that they would rather not acknowledge, but I feel differently. Some people find themselves going through a midlife crisis; me, I’m facing 50 by signing up and training for my first marathon! Like most of us I’ve undergone many transformations in my life. Some have been … + 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

February 24, 2013

Hopeful Progress in Ovarian Cancer Prevention Research

In 2008 FORCE conducted a survey to learn about research priorities for the HBOC community. We learned that women want better methods for ovarian cancer detection and prevention for ourselves, our children, and future generations. For this reason, we have worked closely with researchers exploring new options and we have carefully followed and shared with … + read more

February 11, 2013

Progress in Hereditary Cancer Treatment Research

Recently I participated in the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) semi-annual meeting in San Diego. The GOG is part of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, whose role is to promote and support clinical trials for cancers. As one of the members of the Patient Advocacy Committee of GOG I participate by providing the consumer perspective and … + read more

January 17, 2013

Drawing Attention To High-risk Screening

Reports are everywhere in the media about which celebrities underwent prophylactic mastectomy, the difficulty of their decision, and why these women made the choice. These media reports can be helpful to our community as they raise awareness of hereditary cancer risk and risk-management and remove the stigma of mastectomy. However, given the media focus on … + read more

December 12, 2012

Clinical Trials for Hereditary Cancer: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This blog is a call to action! Please read on, and then post, blog, tweet, retweet, and share about this issue so that we can assure that hereditary cancer research continues! The call for more research is a constant theme for all diseases including cancer, and sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated by the slow pace … + read more

December 3, 2012

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Screening Mammography

Two recent research articles have questioned the value of mammograms and opened up a dialogue about possible benefits and harms of screening for breast cancer. One study looked at mammography in the general population and the other in high-risk young women. Both studies raise interesting concerns, but neither provides the definitive answers needed to dismiss … + read more

November 10, 2012

13 Things About Breast Reconstruction

A guest blog by Kathy Steligo Although many women choose to forego breast reconstruction, it is almost always an option after mastectomy. Research shows that reconstruction can improve psychological well-being and quality of life, and result in improved body image and self-esteem. Most women are not informed about breast reconstruction before their mastectomy, however, so … + read more

October 31, 2012

A Healing Light From Within

Below are excerpts from our Joining FORCEs conference welcome address and a keynote talk that I recently gave in Chicago. Fifteen years ago, there was no FORCE. Back then, hereditary cancer was scarier and lonelier than it is today. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, it was caught early. I … + read more

October 15, 2012

The Cavalry Has Arrived!

When I founded FORCE in 1999 it was in the early days of BRCA discovery and testing. I had my own BRCA testing in 1998, over a year after my diagnosis with breast cancer, and only after learning about hereditary cancer by reading a magazine article about BRCA. I immediately understood the significance and power … + 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

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