Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Blogger: How Breast Cancer Has Gone Online

How Breast Cancer Has Gone Online
The Internet has brought people together in ways no one could have predicted. And nowhere has it been more important than among people who are dealing with serious illnesses like breast cancer. Connecting to the internet has allowed cancer patients to join a wide circle of people experiencing the same fears, problems and treatments and enabled them to share information that can help improve outcomes and well-being.

During Diagnosis
A breast cancer diagnosis can be an isolating experience. Many times, patients do not know anyone who has cancer or who has gone through the process of treatment for breast cancer. The early period following diagnosis can be a terrifying time, with no one to talk to and no one to provide first-hand information.

The internet is full of forums of specialized topics. People in any stage of the disease can communicate their fears and concerns. They can contact others who have dealt with the same emotions, and find a community of people who know what it’s like to await a diagnosis and subsequent treatment for breast cancer.

Information on Breast Cancer
Another way the internet has changed breast cancer its ability to provide information. The internet is a wealth of valuable information that can make it easier to understand treatment options, side effects, current research and other issues so that you are prepared for your journey back to wellness.

A number of non-profit groups, like the American Cancer Society and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, have websites with extensive information on breast cancer.

Treatment Support

The internet has also given breast cancer patients the ability to easily communicate with others undergoing treatment. Forums, chat rooms and support groups can offer real-time help during treatment. These contacts can provide helpful information on dealing with the side effects, both emotional and physical, that patients often experience.

This close, immediate support can mean the difference between feeling isolated and having a circle of friends to offer help and support. The Ellie Fund is a local support groups patients can turn to for help with day to day tasks. Additionally, supporters are able to donate directly through their site. 

Up-To-Date Research
The internet has also made cancer research more widely accessible. In the past, patients with breast cancer could only get information on treatments, trials, new medications and cutting-edge technologies through doctors or libraries. Today, you can find updates on experimental treatments at research facilities around the world by searching online. Many non-profit breast cancer foundations offer this information on their sites.

Recurrence of Cancer
Even after successful breast cancer treatment, cancer may recur. Internet forums and
support groups offer places where breast cancer patients can openly discuss their anxiety and fears. The internet can also provide contacts for local groups where patients interact with each other face-to-face.

These patients may not want to unburden their feelings to friends and family who may have already gone through the struggle against breast cancer. A support group can help patients find the honest emotional support they need to re-commit themselves to the fight. 

Nikki Longo is a writer based off the east coast. You can usually find her in the kitchen cooking scrumptiously healthy meals or at the dog park with her pups. Feel free to reach out to her at nikkiblogsallday@gmail.com

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