This month, 5,000 Americans will learn they have a brain tumor, arguably among the most devastating and isolating diagnoses for patients and their families. Many of these individuals will experience near overwhelming desires to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.
To help bring together brain tumor patients, survivors, family members and other individuals touched by a brain tumor diagnosis, the American Brain Tumor Association recently launched a new social networking site called Connections. The new Web page, available at http://connections.abta.org, provides a forum for individuals looking to share their brain tumor experiences, concerns and emotions. Visitors can also create groups, blogs and a personal profile on the site; share information and resources; and post photos of their brain tumor journey.
In addition to funding research and providing patient-family education and support, the American Brain Tumor Association has a history of bringing those in the brain tumor community together through patient meetings, support groups, and even a traditional pen pal program that for years have helped foster relationships between individuals sharing their brain tumor diagnosis experience. According to Elizabeth Wilson, American Brain Tumor Association Executive Director, ABTA's expansion into social networking is a reflection of both ABTA's commitment to providing patient and family support services and a response to the many ways in which the Internet is dramatically changing health care and disease information delivery, patient support, and patient advocacy.
"In recent years the Internet has become more than a source for information, it has become a focal point for networking and relationship building for people with shared interests," Wilson said. "By incorporating social networking and web technologies into our overall Internet presence, ABTA is building on its tradition of providing safe environments in which brain tumor patients and family members are able to better understand, cope with and fight their disease."
This year, approximately 62,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor. Another 250,000 will have cancer in another part of the body that spreads or metastasizes to the brain. Today, more than 600,000 in the U.S. are living with a brain tumor diagnosis.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION
For nearly 40 years, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has provided critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. The ABTA is also the recognized resource for comprehensive information and compassionate support for the brain tumor patients, families and caregivers who are living with this disease. For more information, visit the ABTA Web site at www.abta.org, or call 1-800-886-2282.