As we saw in last week’s post, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is helping to change the way those living with breast cancer access the information they need to live healthier. But ACS is not the only organization that’s empowering patients, especially women, to take control of their health through innovative online tools both during and after National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete and up-to-date information about breast cancer and breast health as well as an active and supportive online community. The organization’s website, which is also available in Spanish, provides information and resources about symptoms and diagnosis, treatments and side effects, day-to-day matters of living with breast cancer, and how to lower your risk. A Community portal features discussion boards, chat rooms, a blog, and a link to Ask-the-Expert online conferences.
CancerCare is a non-profit organization that provides telephone, online and face-to-face counseling, support groups, education, publications and more – all for free. Its Breast Cancer web page offers information about upcoming workshops and links to breast cancer-related podcasts to more than 1 million visitors each year.
The Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center offer a range of breast cancer treatment services and conduct ongoing cancer research. A special Breast Cancer page offers basic information about breast cancer, from symptoms, causes and risk factors to how to prepare for a breast cancer-related doctor’s appointment. In-depth information is available for those who want it, along with a FAQ and a blog written by a Mayo Clinic nurse educator.
“Breast cancer patients and their loved ones need both support and reliable information,” said Katie Freeman, Communications Coordinator, CancerCare. “Fortunately, with our online services and support groups, patients don’t have to face these challenges alone.”
MyHealthTeams was created as a network of social media platforms to serve as a resource for chronic condition communities, to make life easier for those diagnosed with a disease – and their families – to connect with others, share their daily experiences, and find the help they need. Since its founding in 2010, MyHealthTeams launched three social networks – MyAutismTeam, for parents of children with autism; MyBCTeam, for women facing breast cancer; andMyMSTeam, for those living with multiple sclerosis.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, through events like its Komen Race for the Cure, has invested $2 billion to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 50 countries. Komen’s website offers a number of resources and interactive tools, both for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and for those who know someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer. A message board and a blog let those touched by breast cancer share their stories, questions, and information about breast cancer news and education.
These are just a few of the organizations helping to support those living with breast cancer and their loved ones. Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer or know someone who has? What are the organizations and websites you’ve turned to for help and information? What resources – particularly online platforms – have you found to be most effective in addressing your needs as a patient or as a family member of someone living with breast cancer?