You may have your dad’s eyes and your mom’s smile, but you can also inherit risk for cancer from either parent. Some families carry a genetic change known as a mutation in genes called BRCA-1 or BRCA-2. These gene changes can cause a very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer to run in the family.
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers have aggressively attacked generations of families and FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered is the only national nonprofit dedicated to awareness, advocacy, research and support for those affected by these cancers.
National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week marks the transition between National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of HBOC Week and Previvor Day is to raise awareness about hereditary cancer.
During this week, from September 28 – October 4, FORCE is recognizing and celebrating those who have been affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, including women and men with BRCA mutations, anyone with a family history of cancer, breast and ovarian cancer survivors, and previvors – individuals who are living with a very high risk for cancer but have not developed the disease.
FORCE groups around the country will be celebrating with special events, like a Passing of the Torch ceremony at a baseball games and Union Soccer Team games, a Previvor Day Art Exhibit and a Kickin’ Cancer Walk/Run.
“Through awareness and education, the more than 750,000 people in the United States who carry the positive BRCA gene mutation can take steps to prevent cancer from continuing to impact the next generations. Today, an estimated 90% of those people do not know they carry this gene mutation,” said Debbie Setuain, volunteer outreach coordinator for FORCE in Sunny Isles, Florida. “We want families to pass down recipes, photos and memories to the next generation, not the risk of cancer.”
Former Outreach Coordinator Wendy Unger, Miami Beach, and her sister, Nancy Unger-Fink, Davie, were both diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation. They had surgeries in 2010 to remove their breasts and ovaries to prevent the risk of Cancer.
Fortunately for those facing Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer, last year the publicity surrounding the announcement by celebrity Angelina Jolie, provided great notoriety to the situations of so many in the community. It gave women the opportunity to face a similar diagnosis with a new sense of awareness, new self esteem and less fear.
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Founded in 1999, FORCE serves thousands of families with support, education, advocacy, awareness and research specific to the needs of this community.
For more information about FORCE, visit www.facingourrisk.org and visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FORCE to interact with the FORCE community; or you can reach South Florida Outreach Coordinators Debbie Setuain at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-303-2656 or Christy Thacker at: email@example.com or 305-970-7592.