One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 11 percent of those women will be under the age of 45. And of that 11 percent, a disproportionate share of those women will be African-American and who live in the Gulf States.
That is why surviveAL is launching a new web site statewide. The web site provides information and resources geared to young breast cancer survivors who often face issues that older women with the disease do not, including fertility decisions that need to be addressed before starting treatment, genetic factors, more serious types of the disease, family, career, financial implications and more.
The web site, which debuted July 31, addresses these issues, while providing support, as well as national and local resources that young woman need and want. And providing this information and support online, in the form websites and social media makes sense in the Gulf States, as much of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are rural and many women are unable to travel to in-person support groups.
“Resources like surviveAL provide answers to every day questions that face young survivors their families”, said UAB School of Nursing Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN and Alabama’s director of the project. What young women do have is digital access, with young women, especially among the African-American population, owning a smartphone and using social media platforms. The web site www.surviveAL.org enables young women to find many things from health advice and the latest news on breast cancer to where they find a makeup artist skilled in recreating eyebrows lost to chemotherapy.
Meneses said there will be videos and interactive opportunities for these women to share their stories, provide advice and more, along with will be helpful information for the people surrounding young breast cancer survivors, including providers, family members and caretakers.
In 2012, Meneses led the UAB School of Nursing, with funding from the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, in the launch of the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network. In December 2014, the School’s Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network expanded its outreach to the Gulf States of Louisiana and Mississippi, and was named a partner in a five-year, $2.24 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant that created the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network.
In Louisiana, SurviveDAT launched statewide July 31, as did the other partner site in Mississippi, SurviveMISS
For more information, visit www.surviveAL.org, facebook.com/surviveAL, twitter.com/surviveal1 or contact surviveAL Program Manager Silvia Gisiger-Camata, RN, MPH, 205-975-8656 or surviveAL@uab.edu. For more information about the multi-university, CDC-funded project, go to www.uab.edu/news and read UAB’s announcement.
New online resources for Alabama young breast cancer survivors
Site provides information and resources for women under 45, including fertility decisions, family, financial and career implications.