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 ‘hereditary cancer’

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 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 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

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

February 20, 2019

Celebrating Twenty Years of Support

On New Year’s Day, FORCE celebrated our 20th Anniversary! It is a great milestone, and we have accomplished so much along the way. Over the coming year, we will share articles about key accomplishments in each of our pillars: support, advocacy, research and education. FORCE was founded in 1999 as a support organization. Our first … + read more

January 31, 2019

Highlights from the 2018 Joining FORCEs Conference

Our Joining FORCEs conference informs, inspires and supports the hereditary cancer community. Judging from the feedback, last year’s October conference (our 11th!) once again successfully hit the mark. More than 700 people from the U.S. and other countries traveled to San Diego looking for more answers, deeper understanding, a stronger sense of community, clarity on … + read more

January 10, 2019

A 20th Anniversary Message to Sue and to You: Words of Inspiration From FORCE

  Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, reflect, remember years past and to be hopeful for the future. New Year’s is always a nostalgic time for FORCE, as it is for many people, but the upcoming holiday is especially auspicious, because FORCE and our hereditary cancer community will turn 20! After two decades of raising awareness, … + read more

January 8, 2019

Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy

I agonized for years over whether to have a double mastectomy after I found out I have a BRCA2 mutation. I couldn’t get past the idea that I would be removing my breasts to reduce my risk of a disease I didn’t have — and may never get. My book, Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk … + 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

November 27, 2018

Where’s FORCE? July – October

by Lisa Schlager This issue of “Where’s FORCE” features an overview of the many places FORCE staff and volunteers have been in the recent months. July and August NRG Oncology is a nonprofit research organization formed to conduct oncologic clinical research and to broadly disseminate study results for informing clinical decision making and healthcare policy. … + 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