Pink Ribbon Blog

     In this first blog posting of the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network, I have collected my thoughts as to five themes that can explain why we have started this website and our motivation for its success.

        1.)  Online learning certainly represents the future of dissemination of information in our society.  Thus we set out to create three online libraries dedicated to issues of breast cancer survivorship from three separate perspectives:  the survivor, the primary healthcare provider, and the cancer care professional.

        2.)  Our project makes the assumption that interested, educated persons with issues, a mission in mind, or just curiosity, will pursue self-directed education.  In an open society, persons don't want to be given simple answers, but want to learn for themselves.  Our project believes that persons will pursue self-directed education, therefore our task is the organized assembly of three online libraries devoted to these three groups interested in learning more about breast cancer survivorship.

        3.) We have observed that the different cancer care professionals ( doctors, nurses, nurse navigators, and social workers) each maintain separate clinical literature.  This isolates each professional group's observations into separate "information silos," which are not shared for a common goal of serving breast cancer survivors.  Therefore, we have created an inter-disciplinary clinical library of breast cancer survivorship issues by drawing from the literature of these different cancer care professions.  We believe that a "synergy of ideas" will be possible when observations from the perspective of different cancer care disciplines are housed on a single online library resource.  

        4.)  It is clear that an organized breast cancer survivorship library for primary health care providers needs to be available.  We note the increasing complexity of medical and psychosocial issues regarding breast cancer survivorship.  Additionally, we recognize that oncology professionals will be transitioning more care of breast cancer survivors to their primary care colleagues.  Therefore, our goal is to create a concise and comprehensive online survivorship library for the primary health care provider.  Standards of follow up care, and nationally recognized Guidelines will be an important feature of this library.

       5.)  We wish to provide a service to society as professionals and community activitists in a non-profit organization.  We pledge to avoid bias in our information, to prevent commercial interests from influencing our content, and to protect our users  from solicitation.  At a time when women play a central role in individual families and in society in general, we recognize the importance of improving the lives of breast cancer survivors through online education.

       Thank you for being part of this project through your use of this online resource.

Rob Fisher, MD  Co-Founder and  Organizational President, The Pink Ribbon Survivors Network (, February, 2013.


The Cancer Care organization: great resources to know about:

The Cancer Care organization ( offers support for breast cancer survivors that is exceedingly valuable.  One can find resources for education, one on one phone counseling, financial assistance, and a treasure trove of other sources of information.

An Army in Reserve

     I hope that you've had a chance to read Laurie Lahr's blog dated January 21st about patient navigators.  She inspired me to continue this discussion.  I am an Oncology Patient Navigator at a community hospital, so I get pretty excited about the topic of navigation and survivorship.  I believe the patient experience with the health care system needs to be significantly improved, so energy that could be spent on healing is not unnecessarily expended in frustration.  I want to explore the idea of breast cancer survivors building an "army of reserve of support."  That army can include navigator.  You may never need them.  You may not even like them, but keeping that army ready and waiting to be at your side the moment you need them is a smart strategy.

Upcoming Webinars: Focusing on issues for African-American Breast Cancer Survivors

       Living Beyond Breast Cancer ( continues to take the lead in educational webinars for Breast Cancer Survivorship education.  These two free webinars are certain to be valuableopportunities.

Breast Cancer Survivorship and Nurse Navigators

     The perspectives of women with breast cancer related to the impact of a patient navigator role is worthy of exploration.  As the landscape of healthcare is ever changing, there continues to be need to explore breast cancer patient's experiences with their cancer care system and what challenges they face.

The Cancer.Net patientACCESS Program

 It is the mission of the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network to foster education and dialogue among breast cancer survivors and their health care providers.  A program offered by Cancer.Net takes this opportunity to a new level.

"Carry Your Load"

                      "Meet me on the highway,

                       Meet me on the road.

                       As long as you've got to travel,

                      Don't you want someone to help you carry your load?"

Carole King, "Carry Your Load," 1971.

Owning Your Breast Cancer

     I was planning to launch the Pink Ribbon Survivors Network Journal Club this month, and present an article that those interested could read and evaluate as a community, but a recent conversation with a survivor had quite an effect on me, as she discussed how this holiday season is bittersweet for her.

Breast Cancer Survival in America: Race and Geography Matter

An article entitled: "Tackling a Racial Gap in Breast Cancer Survival,"  by journalist Tara Parker-Pope illustrates the disparity of race and geography, state by state as to differences in breast cancer survival by race in America.  The findings are startling, despite decades of medical advancements, and publicity campaigns for breast cancer awareness.