If you are a survivor, previvor or caregiver affected by a hereditary cancer, have ever wondered whether you should pursue genetic testing, or have tested positive for a mutation and wondering what the next steps are, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) has a website chock-full of information and resources. FORCE is a non-profit organization committed to promoting awareness, sharing current information, providing support, advocating for and supporting research, and building a community of research and medical experts to guide those who are dealing with hereditary breast, ovarian and related cancers. Whether you are new to the topic or well-informed, this website can provide useful information and support to guide your journey.
To access all the resources, you can select a tab at the top of the page or scroll down the website for various topics. Either method will connect you with the same information. Tabs are as follows:
- Hereditary Cancer Info: Includes information on treatment risk, breast reconstruction, menopause, fertility and family planning, nutrition and lifestyle, locating specialists and payment options, privacy and legal issues, a section on special populations (previvors, survivors, pancreatic cancer, Jewish people, men with mutations) and a review of current news articles for young breast cancer survivors and high risk women. Additionally, you can find videos, join webinars, and get information about conferences.
- Research & Clinical Trials: Current enrollment opportunities and information about recent research findings
- How to Help: Information for people interested in getting involved in the FORCE community.
- Get Support: Personalized guidance with FORCE’s Peer Navigation Program. They offer 1:1 phone support and a free personalized guide with resources to make informed medical decisions. You can also locate local support groups, post on a message board, or contact a helpline for additional questions.
- Advocacy: Identifies current and past advocacy issues and accomplishments as well as additional resources.
- About Us: Overview of the FORCE mission and objectives, links to all the programs, personal stories and posts from community members, as well as information about the staff and leaders behind the organization.
If you scroll down the homepage, you will find links as follows:
- Free Resources: Information about FORCE’s Peer Navigation Program for survivors, previvors and caregivers.
- Take Action: Newsletter covering current issues and hot topics in advocacy.
- Awareness and Education:
- XRAYS: Helping to make sense of cancer headlines, FORCE developed the CDC-funded eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS) program to empower young breast cancer survivors and young women at high risk for breast cancer by providing tools that they can use to evaluate reports of new breast cancer related research.
- Know More: Information specifically about ovarian cancer, including treatment options, testing, protection, guidance and support.
- Know Your Genes: Information to help you understand BRCA and HBOC. It will help you answer the question “Should I get genetic testing?” and show how to get started if you decide to move forward.
- Community and Support: Here there are links to local groups and events, an online message board and personal profiles of the FORCE family.
This website is fairly easy to navigate, whether you are looking for something specific or just want to browse for general information. The specialization of FORCE on hereditary ovarian, breast and related cancers provides a focused place get the information, support and resources specific to this family of cancers. The evidence-based research, treatment and testing options, and advocacy information is always valuable of course, but the ready access to live, personalized support and the ability to connect with others in the journey is invaluable.
To check out their website go to facingourrisk.org.
This review was written by Ann Marie Martin, MPT.