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 ‘prophylactic mastectomy’

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

April 27, 2018

The Lights of May

Special note: In honor of Mother’s Day 2018, we’re recycling this post that was originally published in 2012. This inspirational post is as relevant as when first written 6 years ago.  by Sue Friedman We were late.  The last hint of twilight faded and although we were close to home, I was nervous.  It was … + read more

February 1, 2018

Book: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook 

 by Kathy Steligo I have more than a nodding acquaintance with breast cancer. Diagnosed twice, I’ve had seven biopsies, two lumpectomies, radiation therapy, sentinel node biopsy, genetic counseling, genetic testing, bilateral mastectomy, implant reconstruction, GAP reconstruction, fat grafting and multiple nipple and areola tattooing. Once I knew I was going to lose both my breasts, … + read more

November 20, 2017

Why is Mommy Having Surgery, She Looks Ok to Me

By: Heather Barnard I wish the circumstances were different, but the fact of the matter is, I come from a long line of women with breast cancer. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all suffered from it. While my grandmother was able to beat the odds way back in 1966, my own mother was not; she passed … + read more

March 1, 2017

Making Postmastectomy Decisions: The Right Input is Critical

Note: This is part 3 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAY review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” In part 1 of the series, FORCE volunteer, Robin Karlin discusses her decisions after mastectomy, and her feelings post-reconstruction. In part 2, Sue Friedman talks about the affect of … + read more

February 23, 2017

Post-Reconstruction Thoughts on “Going Flat”

Note: This is part 1 of a 3-part series related to our recent XRAY review on Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer.” by Robin Karlin Roni Caryn Rabin’s New York Times piece, “‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer,” brings much-needed awareness to the option of skipping reconstruction after mastectomies for breast … + read more

January 26, 2017

Flawed Research and Reporting on the “Angelina Effect” Could Threaten Access to HBOC Care

by Lisa Schlager, Lisa Rezende, PhD and Sue Friedman “Angelina Effect” Angelina Jolie’s May 2013 New York Times editorial “My Medical Choice,” which detailed her decision to have a double mastectomy because she carries a BRCA1 mutation brought unprecedented attention to hereditary cancer and BRCA genetic testing. This “Angelina Effect” created an avalanche of public … + read more

March 16, 2013

Creating More Resources for High-Risk Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Screening

Women at high risk for breast cancer are not receiving the information, access to care, or support they need to address their elevated cancer risk. Despite guidelines on risk assessment and management, many women are not accurately informed about their high-risk status or the risk-management options required to make informed health care decisions. Some high-risk … + 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

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

September 6, 2012

13 Developments That Have Helped the HBOC Community

September marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. And September 23-30 we will celebrate National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week! Follow us on twitter, Facebook, and our website to see what we are doing to celebrate and to share your celebration ideas with us! In honor of this time of year and in keeping with our … + read more

August 6, 2012

Applying Personalized Medicine to Disease Screening and Prevention

Personalized medicine uses information about an individual’s genetic make-up to deliver the right screening, prevention, or treatment options at the right time to achieve the best medical outcome. Genetic counseling, risk assessment, and genetic testing to determine inherited predisposition for diseases are important and growing areas of personalized medicine that further this goal. Critics have … + read more

July 10, 2012

13 Things That Jewish People Should Know About Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, cancer was not on my radar. Despite the fact that my paternal grandmother had died young of so-called “abdominal cancer,” none of my health care providers indicated that I might be at high risk for cancer. My health care team treated my diagnosis of young-onset … + read more

June 26, 2012

Lucky 21 – For Dan

I know that this post is a departure from our “13 things” theme. But it was important for me to share this post with our community. I have said in the past that FORCE was founded on the principle that “no one should face hereditary cancer alone.” I have been blessed with a partner who … + read more

Connect with others.

Call our Helpline

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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