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 ‘young survivor’

August 22, 2013

Hereditary Cancer Impact Is More Than Skin Deep

Articles about Angelina Jolie’s revelation that she underwent genetic testing and prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction often emphasize her as one of the world’s most beautiful women, who is still beautiful after all that she has endured. This message can be reassuring; by going public, Ms. Jolie put a more positive spin on the stigmatizing effect … + read more

July 7, 2013

Fear, Bravery and HBOC

Recently the topics of BRCA and bravery have been in the news. Previvor Angelina Jolie made headlines when she announced that she carries a BRCA1 mutation and underwent prophylactic bilateral mastectomies. Singer Melissa Etheridge, a BRCA2 mutation carrier and a breast cancer survivor, labeled Jolie’s choice of BPM as “fearful” rather than “brave.” Personally, I … + 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

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 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

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

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

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 23, 2012

HBOC Week 2012: A Call to Arms

As we begin HBOC Week and approach Previvor Day 2012, I am again reminded of how far we have come and how far we still have to go in the fight against hereditary cancer.  The growth of our organization, message boards, mailing lists, and Facebook and Twitter pages tells the story: more people than ever … + 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

June 12, 2012

A Public Response to Dr. Ivan Oransky

To put this post in context, I was forwarded the link to this webcast from the recent TedMed Conference. I suggest watching this presentation by Dr. Ivan Oransky prior to reading the following blog. Dear Dr. Oransky, I recently watched your TedMed presentation and I share your concerns about medical overtreatment of certain conditions and … + read more

May 1, 2012

13 Reasons to Attend the Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer Conference

Registration is now open for our 7th annual Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer conference. The excitement is building as planning progresses for this amazing and unique event. As Course Director, I think the conference is incredible; as a participant, this is the conference that I personally enjoy the most and gain the most from attending. … + read more

March 5, 2012

Why Shouldn’t We Have It All?

As a 15-year breast cancer survivor, I remind myself daily of my good fortune and blessings. Of course, I feel fortunate to be a long-term survivor, especially when I consider that my cancer initially recurred nine months after treatment. I made it through chemotherapy and radiation without any serious problems, despite needing a transfusion and … + read more

December 13, 2011

Best Gifts of the Season

The holidays are a very sentimental time for me; there are a lot of reminders of my hereditary cancer journey. The season is about so much more than gift-giving. Nevertheless, I thought that it was appropriate and timely to share my all-time best gifts in my blog. The most romantic gift I ever received In late … + read more

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