With technology changing how many people affected by cancer are seeking information and support, we are embracing the online space with the launch of our new Online Community.
On average, there are over 30,500 searches on Google for cancer related terms such as ‘living with cancer’, ‘support groups’, ‘I’ve just been diagnosed’, ‘treatment and side effects’ and more each month.
Our Online Community offers people currently living with cancer, cancer survivors, families, carers and the wider cancer community the opportunity to connect, share experiences and find information and support in a safe forum.
At least 82,000 newly diagnosed people will search online for information each year , with approximately 42,000 people visiting an online support group forum at least once.
Research shows that the provision of online information to people affected by cancer helps them to gain control, reduce anxiety, improve their adherence with treatment, create realistic expectations, promote self-care and generate feelings of safety and security.
Through blogs, discussion forums and support groups, members can discuss their experiences and share stories, tips and coping strategies to help normalise concerns and reduce social isolation.
Our Director of Cancer Information and Support Services, Sandy McKiernan, said the Online Community aimed to reduce isolation by encouraging people affected by cancer to share their stories and build meaningful online relationships with other people in similar situations.
“What we are seeing through our peer support programs is more and more people are now turning to digital platforms for information and support, to connect with others who can relate to what they are experiencing,” said Sandy.
We are embracing new and innovative ways for people to seek information and support. The online platform is designed to complement our existing information and support services, connecting people with each other in real time, regardless of when they seek information.
“What’s most appealing about the platform is its accessibility – it’s available 24/7 and from any online device. There are closed groups for sensitive issues and the entire website is moderated and community managed by qualified health professionals,” added Sandy.