On Friday, at the Cancer Survivorship Research Conference in Washington, D.C., much discussion revolved around the fact that cancer survivors are turning to the Internet for help. Wen-ying Sylvia Chou of the National Cancer Institute said according to a recent survey, cancer survivors who have access to the Internet are more likely to search for health-related information than people without cancer.
Among young people living with cancer, social networking sites are replacing the peer and support groups that connect survivors. One such site, Planet Cancer, targets cancer survivors between the ages of 20 and 40.
Another social networking site that is open to all age groups is the Know Cancer Community, which features an inspirational blog about fighting cancer and a forum for members to share ideas.
Young survivors are also finding out cancer information from video games, said Brandon Hayes-Latin, an MD from Oregon Health Sciences University. In a research trial, young cancer patients who played a game called Re-Mission ncreased their understanding of cancer and better adhered to treatment guidelines, compared to survivors who didn’t play the game. The game is free to download or order for young adults with cancer on the Re-Mission website.
Cancer survivors can also find online information on common questions related to diet and physical activity at the Cancer Patients and Survivors section of the AICR website.