A Web-based social network for women that have or have had breast cancer has been launched by the same company behind a social networking site for parents of autistic children.
Mybreastcancerteam.com is open to women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, those currently in treatment, and women who were treated years ago. It’s also available on mobile devices.
Women can search and connect with other women who have the exact type and stage of breast cancer, are the same age and even live in the same city. The aim is to facilitate connections between people and help them share information. The network helps women to share tips and referrals. They can also offer recommendations on providers and other resources they have found helpful.
A searchable directory helps users track down providers by keyword and location that specialize in breast cancer treatments. Users share information on service providers like nutritionists, oncology radiologists and hair stylists. Another section lets users search a database of questions and answers submitted by women. There’s also a pinboard where women pin up images that are like a diary charting their days as they go through treatment, recipes, family photos and what they want to do after treatment.
Last month, San Francisco-based social networking platform MyHealthTeams, which develops online communities for people with chronic illnesses, raised $1.75 million in seed funding.Eric Peacock, CEO and co-founder of MyHealthTeams, told MedCity News that in five years’ time, its goal is to have 100 of these social network platforms prescribed by physicians.
One reason why these patient communities have become such a topic of interest is that in addition to the growth of social networking sites in general, there is a growing understanding of the negative impact depression can have on cancer recovery and chronic illness. By making people feel more connected at such a stressful time, it can make them less likely to feel isolated or alone and depressed.
About 12 percent of U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes, according to data from BreastCancer.org. About 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2011. In 2011, 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men.