As most ovarian cancer survivors can tell you, it is comforting to find someone who has been through it all before. But locating and connecting with other survivors can be difficult, especially when you are feeling worried or uncomfortable at 2 a.m. That is where the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) CancerConnect Community comes into play.
“The CancerConnect Community is a specialized social network for women with ovarian cancer,” says Debra Battista, Chapter Relations Manager for the NOCC. “The idea is to provide a safe, anonymous social media community where survivors can learn from other survivors.”
A woman in treatment often has issues that only other survivors can relate to. This can vary from different types of discomfort, to how to share the latest developments of her condition with family, friends and co-workers.
Can’t sleep? Trouble eating? Unexpected reactions to treatments? Chances are you’ll find someone who is experiencing similar challenges or is looking for the same information. Together, the community finds answers and supports one another.
“Doctors and nurses are the absolute best resource to learn about all the medical issues, but the personal stuff, that’s where it’s difficult to find answers,” Battista says. “The NOCC CancerConnect Community plays an important emotional and support role in the treatment of ovarian cancer.”
The NOCC CancerConnect Community is also open to friends, family and caregivers to help them better understand the best ways to be supportive. The platform is populated with rich content to support the many ongoing needs of individuals battling cancer and is HIPPA compliant.
“Women with ovarian cancer and their families need ongoing access to information and support — not just during a brief office visit with their physician,” explains Charles Weaver, M.D., a medical oncologist and CEO of OMNI Health Media, the creators of CancerConnect.“They need help during sleepless nights as well as busy days. We are pleased that leading advocacy groups, like the NOCC, continue to select CancerConnect as the preferred social media application.”
This month, the NOCC launched a campaign for September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign theme, “Not Knowing is Killing Us,” seeks to dramatically point out how devastating this silent killer can be for the women who will battle ovarian cancer in their lifetime.
“Not knowing is literally killing thousands of women every year,” says David Barley, chief executive officer of the NOCC. “Women usually don’t feel ‘sick’ early on, and since there are no early detection tests, most women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a very late stage. The medical community does not yet know enough to effectively treat the disease in its early stages.”
In addition to efforts to improve quality of life for survivors, such as CancerConnect, NOCC also supports research and funding the Stand Up To Cancer Ovarian Cancer Dream Team. It also organizes community events such as national run/walks to raise awareness, and promotes early awareness.
To join the CancerConnect community, please visit http://nocccommunity.ovarian.org/
. To learn more about the NOCC, visit the organization’s website at ovarian.org.