A breast cancer diagnosis is a life-altering event that can be extremely isolating to the patient. Support and guidance are critical in the fight against breast cancer. While a patient's cancer team is vital in the fight, online support groups can be extremely beneficial during this time. Patients can use online breast cancer support groups to access information and connect with others going through similar situations from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Also, breast cancer patients who may not want to disclose their diagnosis in their local community can maintain their anonymity with online support groups. This article will take a look at five prominent websites to find online support groups for breast cancer patients and their friends and families.
Breastcancer.org offers a community page where visitors can find discussion boards, blogs and chat rooms. One top feature of this site is access to podcasts featuring breast cancer medical experts. Visitors can sign up to receive email newsletters and post questions. The discussion boards and chat rooms are available to provide easy access to online support groups. (http://www.breastcancer.org/community)
Breast Cancer Support
This simple site, aimed at patients and survivors, provides chat rooms for those who want to talk about breast cancer topics. There are also guest books and boards where visitors can post questions. This site would be beneficial for those wishing to remain anonymous as they do not collect information about posters and encourage them to keep their names private. (http://bcsupport.org/)
Susan G. Komen
This website has a page devoted to exploring different types of support including online support groups and helping the patient or caregiver decide what type of support group is a good fit. It also contains fact sheets about dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis as well as information on support groups for men who have experienced a breast cancer diagnosis. (http://ww5.komen.org/Breastcancer/supportgroups.html)
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society provides their own online support community called WhatNext where members can post questions and comments and connect with others dealing with cancer. While not limited to breast cancer, visitors can easily find a group there concerned with their specific diagnosis (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/index)
Cancer Support Community
This site is also not restricted to breast cancer, but offers support groups for people with all types of cancer. Visitors can join and chat in online support groups ranging many topics twenty four hours a day. There are also resources on support for loved ones and caregivers, as well as an online community geared toward teens dealing with cancer. (http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/MainMenu/Cancer-Support/Online-Support-Groups.html)
A breast cancer diagnosis can be a terrifying ordeal, not only for the patient, but for the people close to them as well. It is vital for those dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis to reach out and seek the help that they need. Online breast cancer support groups make it extremely easy for patients and their families to reach out for that help and may be the key to helping patients deal with their diagnosis.