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Tag Archives: social media

The Benefits of Social Media for Teens and Young Adults with Cancer

clarissashilstraby Clarissa Schilstra, Living with Cancer, CKN Advisory Board Member


Social media is an invaluable resource for any teenage or young adult cancer patient or survivor.  While many of us are attached to our screens these days, it’s not always clear how we can best use those apps and sites we so often look at in a way that is beneficial to us as patients/survivors.  As I have found through my own experiences, social media can be used to help overcome isolation, find support, find resources, learn about your illness, share your experiences, make a difference in the lives of others going through similar experiences, and raise awareness about the impact cancer has on a young person’s life.


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Social Media in Oncology

MarkLewisby Mark Lewis, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of General Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


What a time to be alive! Never in history has so much information been at the fingertips of so many. In the developed world, we are privileged to have near-instant electronic access to the accumulated knowledge of humankind, including up-to-the-minute scientific understanding. Concurrent with this ready availability of data, patients have been encouraged and empowered to advocate for themselves by searching for medical content online that is pertinent to their own conditions. However, it is also true that “Dr. Google” does not supplant the significance and rigor of medical training, so there is real value in enabling dialogue within the healthcare community, both broadly and on an individual scale.


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Connecting on Social Media: Resources for families caring for a child diagnosed with cancer

Sameenby Sameen Rehman

Caring for a child diagnosed with cancer is perhaps one of the most complex experiences that can possibly be imagined by any family. Parents often feel that they lose their “normal” way of life, and find themselves adapting to unexpected changes and re-prioritizing life in an attempt to define a new “normal” way of living [1]. While every family caring for a child with cancer is taken on a wildly different journey, in a recent blog post on the CKN website Sue McKechnie mentions how uncannily similar these journeys and feelings can be. After losing her precious little son Shawn to a brain tumor, Sue wrote a heartbreaking (yet inspiring) book that spreads a loud resounding message to other families that they are not alone. Caring for a critically ill or dying child can certainly make families feel isolated and helpless. As Sue mentions – “There is no instruction manual for a parent caring for their dying child but it is important to understand that you are not alone.” In the spirit of childhood cancer awareness month, I would like to share information about some online resources that can help relieve isolation by fostering social connections and relationships within families caring for children with cancer – resources that I personally found to be helpful during our family’s unexpected journey with childhood cancer.

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Conversations of parents with children diagnosed with cancer: Tapping into social media

Sameenby Sameen Rehman

The ravaging realities of childhood cancer silently crept into our family some time during the first year of our daughter Samara’s life. She was born completely healthy. She was meeting all her growth milestones. She was perfect. Then our world came crashing down when exactly 19 days after her first birthday Samara was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma – a huge mass in her tiny tummy with a fatal prognosis.

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A Journey Through The Information Fog

by Jonathan Klein, MD

There`s a lot of information out there.

As an opening statement, especially written for a website that seeks to facilitate deep thought about an intense topic like cancer, that sentence is quite banal. But it’s a thought that crossed my mind the other night while perusing Twitter, cycling through various hits that came up when I searched for “cancer.”

I am a resident and I feel constantly bombarded with information. I just began my first ever resident-level rotation in my specialty of choice – radiation oncology – and often just don`t know where to begin. There is so much to learn and not enough time to learn it. I knew residency would be like this, but experiencing the situation first-hand can be overwhelming.

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