Most of us today are more likely to fight the war against cancer rather than an obscure battle overseas. Breast cancer not only assaults the patient, it also assails the patient’s family, friends, neighbors, and local community. When our loved one is diagnosed with cancer, we feel lost, bewildered, uncertain, helpless. Breast cancer is not to be battled alone, rather it is to be fought with the support of all available resources.
Throughout history people have relied upon neighbors for support, and with today’s global networking, our neighbors are often found online. For those of us who stood beside loved ones battling cancer or battled it ourselves, we known how vital it is to be championed by an extensive support system that addresses our individual needs.
Susan G. Komen, a site comprised of breast cancer’s fiercest supporters at ww5.komen.org, provides online education and understanding of breast cancer and suggests that The Association of Cancer Online Resources and CancerCare are solid resources for locating online support groups.
The American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org knows the cost of cancer and is recognized for its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® fundraisers. The site and its local chapters offer breast cancer education, available treatments, contemporary research findings, financial advisement, and answers to other FAQs at no cost. Also, the American Cancer Society offers four distinctive online community support groups: the WhatNext social network, Cancer Survivors Network, Circle of Sharing, and I Can Cope Online–each offering free support.
The Cancer Support Community at www.cancersupportcommunity.org specifically speaks to the stress and bereavement concerns facing our families. This site addresses the distress issues of both patients and families through a multitude of valuable resources such as an online “living room” facilitated by professionals where patients, caregivers, and the bereaved can chat online 90 minutes per week with peers.
myBCTeam at www.mybcteam.com is a social network created specifically for women battling breast cancer. It provides women with a social forum to discuss cancer concerns with online neighbors facing similar strife and extends the circle of understanding exponentially so that breast cancer patients can dialogue with cohorts who truly empathize with their struggles.
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at www.cancercenter.com is comprised of a team of accredited doctors who won a multitude of awards specific to breast cancer. This site offers 24/7 availability to discuss treatment options via online chat. If a patient uses CTCA doctors, the site offers blogging and additional online opportunities during and after treatments that extend to caregivers.
Each online source provides opportunities for involvement. The volunteer options include: monetary support, organizing events, or passing supportive legislation. Only with our support do our loved ones stand a chance in the battle against cancer–our involvement can reduce uncertainty and increase life expectancy.