FORCE Celebrates 2012 National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week September 23 – 30 and National Previvor Day on September 27

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Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, is celebrating National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day to create awareness and recognize families affected by a genetic predisposition to these cancers.

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, is celebrating National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week and National Previvor Day to create awareness and recognize families affected by a genetic predisposition to these cancers.

In 2010, FORCE made history with the successful passage of a Congressional resolution declaring the first-ever National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and National Previvor Day. 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 23 – September 30, 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 high risk for cancer but have not developed the disease).

“Through awareness and education, the estimated three-quarters of a million Americans who carry a BRCA gene mutation can be more proactive with their health and take steps to minimize the impact of hereditary cancer on future generations. Today, an estimated 90% of those people do not know they carry this gene mutation. National HBOC Week and Previvor Day aim to help change that,” said Sue Friedman, FORCE’s executive director.

Knowing one’s family medical history can be life-saving. Cancers tend to be more aggressive in people with BRCA mutations and a family history of cancer, and can occur at a younger age when individuals are less likely to undergo routine cancer screening. Cancer screening recommendations for high-risk populations differ from those for the general public; more aggressive surveillance is needed. Thus, awareness of an inherited predisposition to cancer may lead to earlier detection and prevention strategies that ultimately reduce the chance of dying from cancer.

About FORCE
No one should have to face hereditary breast and ovarian cancer alone. For more than 13 years, FORCE has been the voice of the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer community. FORCE provides support, education and awareness to help those facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer know their healthcare options and make informed decisions. The organization is the de facto leader in guiding critical research and policy issues that impact the hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer community. For more information about FORCE and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, please visit http://www.facingourrisk.org.

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Erin Del Signore

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