Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

In 1996, Sue Friedman was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. A year and a half later, genetic testing revealed that she had a BRCA2 mutation, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and certain other types of cancer.

Friedman looked for an organization and community dedicated to helping people who are carrying hereditary mutations that raise the risk of cancer, but she could not find one. So she remedied that: Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999, Friedman created an online support and discussion forum for those with BRCA mutations — which would grow to become the organization now known as FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered).

In 2019, FORCE expanded to its mission beyond BRCA mutations to include individuals and families impacted by other genetic mutations linked to cancer — including Lynch syndrome, ATM, PALB2, CHEK2, and PTEN, among others.

FORCE’s Goal

“FORCE is dedicated to improving the lives of millions of individuals and families facing hereditary breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, and endometrial cancers,” says Karen Kramer, FORCE’s senior vice president of marketing, who discovered the organization 14 years ago when she learned that she is BRCA1-positive.

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