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’

October 9, 2019

FORCE Book Blog

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 7, 2019

Where’s FORCE?

by Lisa Schlager This issue of “Where’s FORCE?” features an overview of the many events in which FORCE staff and volunteers participated in recent months. May Supporting those affected by cancer is collaborative effort. The Cancer Community (C2) Awards honor a diverse and indispensable group, the unsung heroes of cancer care. This year, FORCE Executive … + 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 30, 2019

My Experience As A Male Previvor

Note: In recognition of the last day of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the start of HBOC Week and in advance of Previvor Day, FORCE wants to remind people that men can be previvors too. Like women, men account for half of all mutation carriers. Male mutation carriers face challenges associated with their high risk for … + read more

September 24, 2019

Mystery Families and MRIs

by Piri Welcsh What is a ‘mystery family’ you may be thinking.  I guess you could define a mystery family in many ways.  Maybe it’s family with a mysterious past? A family who doesn’t know its origins or history? Or, maybe a family with a secret?  For me, a mystery family is a family with … + 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 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

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