Breast Cancer Awareness and Social Media

joan justice
Joan Justice Director of Special Projects, Patient Empowerment Network

Posted on October 19th 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness and Social Media


Over the course of a lifetime, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  While breast cancer also affects men, women are 100 times more likely to get the disease.  Many factors affect the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, including age, family history, genes, use of diethylstilbestrol (DES) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and obesity.

Breast cancer can be a killer.  But there are also more and more survivors.  Over the past 20 years, great progress has been made in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. In fact, the number of breast cancer survivors is constantly rising and today amounts to more than 2.5 million in the United States.

 Recently, new targeted therapies are being tested and used for some types of breast cancer with good success, giving many women hope for a longer life.

 Over the past decade or so, women themselves, many of them breast cancer patients, have stood up and joined together to raise awareness of this disease.  They have done much in the way of fund-raising: writing books, sponsoring movies and television series, giving talks, and hosting Cancer Awareness events.  They have also advocated support groups for breast cancer patients and taught doctors and other medical professionals much about the emotional and social dimensions of breast cancer.

 But there is still much to be done.

 Many women still are confused about the disease and don’t have a support group ready to help them cope with it.  Many women do not know where to find good information on the Internet and are too intimidated to ask their doctor the right questions.  Many do not know where to go for treatment or anything about treatment options in general.  And families and caregivers also need help in navigating through all the information available (some of it good, and some of it, not so good) on the Internet, and also finding support groups themselves to help them better understand and help the breast cancer patient. 

 This month of October has been declared Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 On the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we invite you to join HealthworksCollective for an exclusive webinar about the growing role of social media in educating breast cancer patients and connecting them with the treatment resources that they need. Thousands of websites and social media channels now provide fast information to women seeking information about breast cancer. Has this deluge of data helped or hindered? How can women and their families feel confident that what they are reading on the Internet is fact and not fiction? How can medical professionals use social media to optimize treatment and build stronger relationships with patients?

Our distinguished panelists will address the following issues, and yours:

  • How to engage with breast cancer support groups online.
  • Best online resources for breast cancer patients and treatment providers.
  • Learning from breast cancer: Best practices for medical education and communication.
  • How has the conversation between doctor and patient changed?

To meet our distinguished panelists and register for this informative and worthwhile event, please go to this page.



joan justice

Joan Justice

Director of Special Projects, Patient Empowerment Network

Joan Justice is Director of Special Projects at the Patient Empowerment Network, a global non-for-profit organization dedicated to fortifying the health care consumer with the knowledge and tools to feel more confident playing a central role in decisions that affect their health.  Joan has a background in nursing and domestic and international healthcare marketing.  Previously, she was the manager of HealthWorks Collective, the healthcare website in the Social Media Today network.

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Posted on October 20th 2011 at 8:16AM

Breast cancer awareness is very important because most of the people unaware about symptoms, treatment, causes and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Posted on October 20th 2011 at 4:35PM

So excited for this! I participated in my first #SMTLive webinar a few weeks ago and loved it. I've also been talking my boss's ear off about how I wanted to write a blog post about social media and breast cancer!

Posted on January 27th 2012 at 8:06AM

It's too much important for us.We should be careful about it.

Posted on June 21st 2013 at 5:07PM

A good article, thanks-- we do need to band together because it seems we need to be rough and tough warrrior advocates just to navigate our health care system, not to mention parsing voluminous and conflicting information.

Posted on June 21st 2013 at 5:09PM

You got that right-- it's nearly a full-time job helping someone going through cancer treatment. navigating the paperwork alone requires an expert with extreme patience and persistence.