Sunday Seven: Seven super breast cancer websites

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by Jacki Donaldson, 8 Oct 2006

When a question or concern or worry related to breast cancer pops into my head, I typically find myself parked in front of my computer in search of instant answers, instant comfort, instant wisdom. There are several different websites I consult -- each one different from the others, each one complementing the others. They are my reference tools, my handbooks, my encyclopedias. They offer me a clear picture of a confusing, cloudy disease. And here they are -- seven super websites that have been become staples in my life.

The Cancer Blog


If you are reading this post, then you know how to reach The Cancer Blog. There's nothing like it for timely cancer-related news, the latest in cancer research and information, connections to cancer survivors everywhere, and general health tips and techniques. Written by breast cancer survivors who have traveled their own bumpy cancer roads, each post -- there are several per day -- published on The Cancer Blog is fresh, insightful, and full of personal passion.

My Breast Cancer Network

Health Central is a major health stop on the information superhighway. Consisting of 30 different health networks -- featuring topics such as allergies, anxiety, diabetes, and menopause -- the network that helps me most is My Breast Cancer Network. With three major navigation tools -- find, manage, and connect -- this network helps breast cancer survivors, their partners, and their loved ones locate answers to questions, find direction in managing their diseases, and reach an on-line community of medical experts and expert patients. It's the balance between medical opinion and patient experience that makes this site an important bookmark.

Young Survival Coalition

Most diagnoses of breast cancer happen for women over the age of 50. But breast cancer does strike young women -- like me -- who are affected in distinct ways by this disease. Tumors in young women tend to more aggressive, menopause is often triggered in young women who experience chemotherapy, and concerns about the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer can cause anxiety for young women. The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) addresses the unique considerations facing young women with breast cancer. And the YSC website was one of the first sites I stumbled upon after my breast cancer diagnosis. I spent most of my time reading posts on the bulletin board where I could gather advice from women traveling my same road.

The American Cancer Society

For solid research-based facts and figures and statistics, I visit the American Cancer Society website where I can navigate through all sorts of cancer material and can find out just about anything I need to know about breast cancer. Just yesterday, I searched for information on breast cancer incidences in men. I found out that in 2006, 1,700 men will be diagnosed with this disease. And I learned that 100 times more women than men will be diagnosed in this same year.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

It's the destination of many fundraising dollars, and it's a source of valuable information on innovative research and community outreach programs. It's The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation -- and it caters to patients, survivors, and co-survivors who seek to increase their knowledge about breast cancer. Known for an invigorating 5K walk -- Race for the Cure -- and a push-yourself-to-the-limit 3-Day, 60-mile walk -- The Breast Cancer 3-Day -- Susan G. Komen covers it all.

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation


I was told by the surgeon who performed my biopsy and delivered my diagnosis that Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book was the bible for breast cancer patients and survivors. He was right. For me, a quick flip through my book was all it took to arrive at specific and easy-to-understand answers to my anxiety-producing questions. When I didn't know what to expect from chemotherapy, Dr. Love told me. When I wanted statistics about my chances at survival, Dr. Love told me. And when I wasn't sure what my HER2 positive status meant, Dr. Love told me. And while my book is still within reach -- two years after my sister bought it for me -- I often turn to Dr. Love's website for more recent information and developments.

BreastCancer.org

BreastCancer.org offers short snippets of information that simply make sense. Anything I've ever wondered about, I've found on this site. Recently, someone asked me if certain bras were linked to breast cancer. I had never heard of any connection but wanted to research the possibility. I visited this site and after a quick search this is what I found:

Question: Can you get breast cancer from things you do to your breasts, like wearing a bra all the time, or when your partner caresses them?
Answer: No, you cannot get breast cancer from these things. What you wear and how your breasts are touched do not affect your risk for breast cancer.

You can read a detailed discussion on the actual risk factors for breast cancer
.

There is no one-stop shop when it comes to locating everything I want to know about breast cancer. But my own little library of websites provides a perfect blend of varied material. Please check them out, borrow them, make them your own. Satisfaction guaranteed.

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