The benefits of social networking for those with cancer (and other illnesses)

The benefits of social networking for those with cancer (and other illnesses)

This is a little bit different to our usual happiness fare but it's directly related to the health and wellbeing of many. Tackling social isolation will help people cope with cancer and other chronic illnesses; check out yet another interesting article from Sarah Berry of the SMH…

Socially isolated women are 34 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer than their counterparts who have strong support from family and friends, a study of 2200 women found.

Now, new websites are being established to help.

The Cancer Council began Australia's first social networking site, Cancer Connections in 2009 and now after seven years in the making, website launches on February 15.

It is designed to connect patients around the world in the same style as Facebook.

Dr Kevin Buckman, a co-founder on the site, says the platform is intended a one-stop-shop where people can connect and find information and research papers on the more than 200 types of cancer.

The importance of social support to physiological and psychological health is a critical, yet underutilised resource for people when undergoing cancer care, say researchers from the University of Washington.

Bev Fink, 65 who was is now in remission from uterine cancer, found Cancer Connections invaluable after her diagnosis. "Everyone says 'It'll be alright' but if they haven't been through it themselves, how would they know?" she asks. "I wanted to speak to someone who had been through it… when you have cancer, you don't know whether what you're feeling is normal."

By connecting with others who are having the same experience "you know you're not alone," she says.

"It's this drastic, drastic event in people's lives and we want to help them through," says Buckman.

Connecting with others "gives them hope… When they're educated they don't have to be a number and there's an opportunity to live better… it is also an opportunity to share their experience and wisdom."

It also lets sufferers tell friends and family how they're going and whether or not they are  to having visitors or phone calls…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE