No one should face hereditary cancer alone.

Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and even lifesaving.

Hereditary Cancer Info > Hereditary Cancer Research Fund

Toggle Menu

Hereditary Cancer Research Fund

More than one million people in the United States carry a BRCA gene mutation or other hereditary factor that puts them at high risk for cancer. Families with inherited mutations have the highest known cancer risks. This community has a critical need for research to develop better treatment, detection, and prevention options.

FORCE has created the Hereditary Cancer Research Fund to address this critical need.

Help us advance hereditary cancer research!

How many times have you been asked for YOUR INPUT on which research should be supported? As an important stakeholder in cancer research, it is your right to help guide the direction of research. Help us advance hereditary cancer research by completing our short survey, and making a financial contribution to help us realize our goal.

Why an HBOC-Specific Research Fund?

  • Hereditary cancer research is being abandoned even as it begins to show promising results. Funding is being shifted to projects that favor the larger cancer population, even though hereditary cancers may respond differently than sporadic cancers.
  • HBOC individuals and families represent an overburdened and under-resourced community. They require unique research that provides information and evidence-based solutions for the extraordinary issues they face.
  • Current options for prevention, detection, and treatment of hereditary cancer are inadequate. Too many people are being diagnosed with and succumbing to hereditary cancers. Chemoprevention or prophylactic surgery reduce cancer risk, but may cause other health problems and lower quality-of-life.
  • Targeted funding for hereditary cancer research is virtually nonexistent. Many foundations support general breast or ovarian cancer research; funded studies typically focus on a single cancer type and may miss critical clues linking breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and other hereditary cancers.
  • Government research funding is limited and the process is lengthy. Competition for cancer research grants has increased over the last few years as government research funding has been flat. Government contracts may take years to finalize and research often does not start for many years after a research concept is first proposed.
  • Some outspoken and influential advocacy groups discourage genetic testing and breast cancer prevention for people at risk. They are shifting breast cancer research away from hereditary risk, prevention and early detection. This must be changed.
  • People at high-risk are significant stakeholders in cancer research but their input is limited or nonexistent. Although cancer research projects require consumer input to guide direction and relevance, panels often do not include advisors with hereditary risk. Some government funding agencies only accept consumer advocates who are survivors, thereby excluding high-risk, previvor input and creating a research bias against HBOC priorities.
  • Recruiting participants for studies of rare cancers is difficult. Ovarian, fallopian tube, primary peritoneal, pancreatic, and premenopausal breast cancers are rare in the general population, and studies often cannot recruit sufficient eligible participants. The high-risk community proportionately includes more individuals with these rare cancers, representing a resource of eligible and highly motivated subjects.


  • FORCE is the only organization dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and improving the lives of affected individuals and families. Hereditary cancer is our only mission. We have a broad connection and a bond of trust with our constituents.
  • As the voice of hereditary cancer, FORCE has unmatched insight into the unmet needs and research priorities of our community. Our input can shape studies of detection, prevention, and treatment of hereditary cancers not addressed by sporadic cancer research.
  • FORCE has an acknowledged outstanding record of collaborating with researchers. As collaborators with many academic centers through the United States, we are uniquely positioned to provide important input into the direction, implementation, recruitment, and ethical aspects of research and we can facilitate teamwork between different institutions and stakeholders.
  • FORCE maintains the largest contact database of people who are willing to participate in HBOC research. When researchers need help in recruiting for studies specific to hereditary cancer, they come to FORCE.
  • FORCE is in a unique position to identify and expedite research that will best serve high-risk individuals and families. We advocate solely for the needs of the hereditary cancer community and its research priorities. We understand the limitations of current available treatment, prevention, and surveillance options, and the impact each has on the quality-of-life of these individuals and their families. Our long-range vision and focus ensures that our community doesn't get lost in the larger research portfolio.
  • Our national hereditary cancer research fund will be the first of its kind, providing grants exclusively for research that targets hereditary cancer. A panel of experts and consumer advocates will review proposals to ensure that any research funded has the potential for significant benefit for the high-risk community.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered