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 (Rob@PinkRibbonSurvivorsNetwork.org), February, 2013.

          


Social Support and Breast Cancer Survivorship

Emotional support and feeling understood from Co-survivors can help breast cancer survivors develop a positive outlook on life and help them to feel cared for and loved.  Co-survivors can be family members, friends, pastors or spiritual advisors, co-workers, other cancer survivors, and even health care providers.  Having a positive outlook correlates with better quality of life.

Cancer Survivorship: "The Next Front in Cancer Care"

    Legitimacy of Cancer Survivorship needs and programs has grown over the past decade, mostly from within the Cancer Care community, which includes Survivors and the Cancer Care professionals who care for them. 

     However, it never hurts to gain attention from a leading newspaper in the United States.

Breast Cancer Survivorship: Imparting Wisdom

     A woman surviving breast cancer,  that I've cared for and long admired, had the chance recently to impart some of the wisdom she's learned over the years.  Our recent conversations are often as much about her years of observations and sense of serentity,as they are about her current health.

It's Not About the Food.....

"It's Not About the Food,"    There, someone's attention was caught.  In a missive newspaper article about hosting Thanksgiving, I read a description of service and hosting a feast, that parallels the mission of Pink Ribbon Survivors Network.

"Choosing Wisely"

       At a national level, the Oncology professional community continues to recognize the need for careful consideration of the cost of health care.  For a second year in a row, we consider the merits of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, as to their cost and their contribution to better health care.  This program is entitled, Choosing Wisely."

Exercise Improves Bone Health and Adds other benefits for Breast Cancer Survivors

     "Women who are completing cancer therapy should be getting a strong prescription for health promotion, which includes aerobic-resistance exercise,"  stated Dr. M. T. Knobf, MD from the Yale School of Medicine. This is part of the report, presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research and  released this month in the newsource, "HealthDay."  Researchers assigned  half of the volunteers of their study to an exercise program including an aerobic fitness routine for 30 minutes three times a week at a fitness center.  The other half of the volunteer group exercised on their own.  For those assigned the pre-determined exercise program, those women had improved bone health, improved muscle mass, less body fat, and improved mental health parameters.

C4YW: The Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer

     "I was humbled and amazed by meeting so many young women affected by this disease and by how incredibly fortunate I was able to attend...."  So are the comments of one attendee at last year's conference.

     " This conference is awesome!  I really learned alot and will be pleased to pass on the valuable information to my friends who also have breast cancer.  I just loved being surrounded by vivacious and life loving women who are determined to live life to its fullest despite being diagnosed with breast cancer."

Preventative Mastectomy: Perspective from Patients and Physicians

What are the motivating factors in a woman's decision for a Preventative Mastectomy?   This topic was the subject of an important presentation at The American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) Breast Cancer Symposium in September, 2013.  Issues cited included: Control, Fear and Shock, and Body Symmetry.