I know that a lot of people probably come to this site looking for answers to questions after a breast cancer diagnosis. I will be the first person to tell you to stay off the internet if you have questions– a doctor is always your best bet. But I am also the first to admit that a lot of questions– the ones that seem the scariest of the most pressing– come just after a doctor’s office has closed for the day. Or the weekend. If you’re heading out to the internet, please, please, please check the source. All internet information is not created equal. I think you could probably find nearly everything you need in just two places.
Cancer.net is a great site curated by ASCO (the American Society of Clinical Oncologists) for patients. Since it is designed for patients, the information is easy to understand– conversational, not overly technical. And because it is vetted by oncologists, it has complete, reliable information. Besides offering basic cancer information, they feature a lot of articles and videos talking about everything from choosing a doctor, managing side effects of treatment, dealing with the emotional and financial ramifications of cancer treatment, and even thriving in survivorship once you’re declared cancer free.
My other favorite American Cancer Society’s page, I’ve headed there for years– that’s always where I got my breast cancer incidence stats back in grad school. This past weekend, I was working on a project and took the time to look through their annual publication, Breast Cancer Facts and Figures. This is a gold mine! It has all kinds of stats on incidence broken down by region, age, ethnicity… But they also have great information on diagnostic procedures, treatment plans, and pathology results. They cover nearly every breast cancer question I’ve heard, but the kicker is that they cite their references! This is a huge deal to science nerds like myself– not that I’m going to read every original article they cite, but when it’s important, I like being able to find the original, peer reviewed document to support what I’m going to say.
I’ve started a new Resources page here on Run Lipstick Chemo. Links to these two pages will be there, and I’m going to include some local resources as well. I’ll update it as I find new things to share, and I’ll do my very best to keep the standards high on that page so that you can trust the information you find there. It’s a work in progress, but I feel like these two resources stand on their own, so wanted to give you the heads up as soon as possible.