The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded $1.8 million to Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to men, women and families facing hereditary cancer. Together with Susan G. Komen® and the University of South Florida, FORCE will use this five-year grant to provide credible, evidence-based information and guidelines, links to clinical trials and supportive services for young women with breast cancer, their caregivers, community health workers, and health care providers.
This award—the second given to FORCE by the CDC—will expand FORCE’s current CDC-funded “eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors” (XRAYS) program to address the unmet information needs of young breast cancer survivors and young women with metastatic breast cancer. XRAYS looks behind the headlines of media stories about breast cancer and delivers plain-language facts without hype.
According to the Project Co-Lead, Erica Kuhn, MPH of Susan G. Komen, “We are thrilled to be a part of this comprehensive program filling an unmet need. At Komen we are committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer, including young women living with metastatic breast cancer and young breast cancer survivors. This project ties into our comprehensive approach to addressing breast cancer across all fronts, including advocating for patients, helping to improve access to high-quality care and empowering people with evidence-based and trustworthy information.”
FORCE, Komen and USF will work closely with the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN) and the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). Together, these organizations will develop continuing education workshops to increase health care providers’ understanding in two areas: topics that are important to breast cancer patients and survivors, and the complex digital landscape and cultural context in which patients receive health information.
Danelle Johnston, MSN, RN, ONN-CG, HON OCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Sr. Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives., The Lynx Group/AONN+ commented, “AONN+ is excited to collaborate with FORCE on Project EXTRA, which is focused on the unmet needs of young breast cancer survivors and women with metastatic breast cancer. This collaboration will assist in providing training and education for oncology navigators and community health workers to empower this population in treatment choices and care support in order to improve personal health outcomes. The goals of EXTRA align with the vision of AONN+ which is to achieve, through effective navigation, patient-centered superior quality cancer care coordination from pre-diagnosis through survivorship/end of life.”
NSGC President Amy Sturm, MS, LGC stated, “We are thrilled to expand our existing partnership with FORCE through this exciting project. As genetic counselors, we understand the volume and complexity of information that is available to patients and the importance of clear provider-patient communication. We look forward to working with FORCE, the CDC and the other partners on this project to increase access to credible breast cancer information for patients.”
Project Co-Lead, Marleah Dean Kruzel Ph.D., (USF) stated, “We are excited to partner with FORCE on this important project. More and more patients are turning to the Internet for health information. It is imperative for healthcare providers to recognize the confusing, sometimes misleading digital maze of health news that patients must navigate. A key goal will be to optimize provider-patient communication about new breast cancer research.”
“We look forward to working with FORCE to provide support to young women living with breast cancer,” said Nikki Hayes, Chief, Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch in CDC’s Director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “Together we can address a broad range of education, resources, and communication needs which have been identified as common challenges for young breast cancer survivors and their families.”
Piri Welcsh , FORCE Vice President of Education, stated, “Our goals for this new program are to improve health literacy, to help patients distinguish fact from hype, and to improve the frequency and the manner in which patients and health care providers exchange information.”
No one should have to face hereditary cancer alone. FORCE is the voice of the hereditary cancer community, providing support, education and awareness to help those facing hereditary breast, ovarian, colon and related cancers 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 cancer community. For more information about FORCE please visit www.facingourrisk.org.
About Susan G. Komen
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures.