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Online Support Communities

Posted 2/17/2016

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  Several weeks ago I wrote about the long-awaited launch of our online support community. I have been working on this project for several years, and am just delighted that we are live.

  Online communities are a wonderful way to communicate with others in similar circumstances, get advice, share information, and generally feel less alone--all without the need to get dressed, commute, or pay for parking. If you have not already joined us, please do so:

We have seven special BIDMC groups: prostate cancer, breast cancer, living with cancer, blood cancers, caregivers, nutrition, and spirituality. There are also 49 national groups (just scroll down the right side of the home page), so you are sure to find kindred spirits. Please join us. 

If you need more convincing, here is some support from Cancer Net:

Online Communities for Support

For many people with cancer, connecting with others provides emotional support and inspiration during a challenging time. Whether it's joining a support group or finding a support buddy, there are several options to get the help you need. Joining an online community makes it easier to connect with others, even if they live far away.
About online communities
Online communities let you create a personal profile where you share information about yourself for others to view. You choose whom to invite or allow access to your profile. Online communities offer several benefits for people with cancer, such as:
Making it easier to stay in touch with family and friends
Connecting you with others in a similar situation
Helping people find support no matter where they live
Giving people who don't like face-to-face groups another option to connect with others
In an online community, you can post a picture or video of yourself and share updates with people in your network whenever you choose. You are free to decide how much information you are comfortable sharing with others. Several sites offer privacy settings and tools, which let you control who can view your profile and what they can see or read.
When creating a profile, learn about the privacy settings and options the site offers to understand how your
information is used and how it can be accessed, so you will feel more comfortable when sharing your profile.
Sharing stories with other people in an online community may help you learn about treatment options and other concerns, such as side effects. While sharing these experiences is helpful, keep in mind that only your doctor can give you the best advice for your type of cancer.

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