BRCA - Statement of Support: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

May 12, 2009

Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) supports efforts to improve patient access to genetic information, counseling and testing, improve the patient experience and quality of information that patients receive when undergoing genetic testing, and broaden access to genetic testing for researchers studying ways to improve care for individuals and families affected by hereditary cancer.

Our mission includes providing people with information and resources to determine whether they are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer due to family history or genetic predisposition and to make informed decisions about their health care options. Many of our members have obtained genetic testing to determine whether they have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. However, on a regular basis, FORCE receives phone calls from people who do not have access to genetic testing due to the prohibitive cost of testing. Testing can be life-saving, as many women will opt for more intensive surveillance or preventive measures if they learn that they are at increased risk for hereditary cancer, yet many people cannot afford this valuable test.

FORCE strongly encourages genetics laboratories to lower the cost of genetic testing in order to assure better access to testing for individuals who fit national standard-of-care testing guidelines, and for researchers working towards better understanding of cancer development and improved cancer detection, prevention and treatment.

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