Oncology Ad Guy Facing Cancer


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Social sites are becoming very popular for seniors and essential for those who suffer from a chronic disease like cancer. This is an overview of some statistics regarding online usage and how I see it benefiting many more patients in the future.

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Oncology Ad Guy Facing Cancer

  1. 1. ONCOLOGY AD-GUY September 24, 2010 Social sites are becoming one of the greatest resources for seniors particularly those who suffer from a Facing Cancer— chronic disease Why are patients turning to Facebook and other social sites? like cancer. By Marvin Bowe I have been working in oncology time. I would call him and he a desire to live. Soon after that, it marketing and communications, would tell me how no one becomes a mission. What do we exclusively, for nearly six years understands what he’s going need to know? Over night and during this time I have seen through. I was fortunate that I whether they like to read or not many transitions take place. But, know his disease and could find the patient and family become a the biggest transition is how information quickly for him. It high school student cramming for patients with cancer gather was at that time when it occurred the final exam hoping to pass and information regarding their to me most people do not have an move the next grade. disease. The increased amount of expert family member they can online activity over the last five call. I remember every call and During my uncle’s battle, they years, considering the average age email I received, “they want to found several people in similar of a patient with cancer, is give him this”, “they want to treat situations online that they impressive. him with that...” I spent most of communicated with on a routine my time researching terms we basis. This was when I first One of the most unfortunate didn’t know and directing them realized the value an online feelings a patient with cancer to sites with information. My community could offer. faces is the feeling of being alone. family’s days were filled soaking Regardless of how many studies I Typically many of their friends or up information while riding this knew or what data I could access, family members have never daily emotional roller coaster. nothing I offered compared to the walked a mile in their shoes. I words of someone who has gone remember my uncle being This emotional roller coaster is through the same situation. In diagnosed with head and neck the case for many patients with addition to networking, my aunt cancer; I was working on a radio- cancer. First sadness then anger started a blog to log the daily protectant campaign for head and until eventually those emotions progress for the extended family. neck cancer therapy during that turn into motivation and desire, INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? PLEASE CONTACT MARVIN BOWE @ MBOWE@NAVICORGROUP.COM
  2. 2. ONCOLOGY AD-GUY September 25, 2010 Unfortunately, my uncle did not survive There are several reasons why people much beyond a year after his diagnosis, over the age of 55 go online, but when but his story lives on to support patients looking for common themes you will find and caregivers through the online logs in many studies, three main activities: that my aunt posted on various blogs email, searching for health information, related to head and neck cancer for or purchasing something. (social future patients to read as they venture networking being a very close forth) In into this scary time in their life and start fact, we are seeing a trend suggesting that their information gathering. social sites will eventually surpass email as the most popular activity amongst Social networks are not seniors. According to Nielson Netview, email has saw double-digit declines in child’s play. share of time. While, according to Pew Research Center, social networking use Social sites are becoming one of the among those ages 50 and older nearly greatest resources for seniors particularly doubled over the past year (from 22% those who suffer from a chronic disease to 42%). like cancer. In a recent article from NPR, Tammy Gordon, AARP's senior adviser for social communications, says a quarter Why might social of the organization's members are using networks be Facebook, and the number is rising increasingly attractive to quickly. Nearly 19 million people ages 55 patients with cancer? and over used Facebook in July, up from about 9 million one year ago, according In a recent survey, Older Adults and to comScore. Social Media, Pew Research Center shows there are two activities which stand According to a Pew report, Older out among people living with chronic Americans and the Internet, sixty-six disease: blogging and participating in percent of seniors have looked for health or medical information online – the same online health discussions. When other Half of internet demographic factors are held constant, percent as the general Internet having a chronic disease significantly users ages 50-64 population. In addition, half of online and one in four increases an Internet user’s likelihood to seniors now count themselves among the say they work on a blog or contribute to users age 65 and Facebooking and LinkedIn masses. an online discussion or other forum that helps people with personal issues or older now use The concept of seniors online may be health problems. social networking hard to grasp for many of you, particularly if you are one of the many For my family, finding someone that has sites.  who think social sites are mostly filled walked a mile in our shoes helped us take with tweeners, and teens. Although this Pew Research Center, 2010 our first step. may have been the case five years ago it’s not the case today. According to comScore, a digital measurement company, 27.4 million people age 55 and over engage in social networking, up from 16 million one year ago. Marvin leads the new media development for Navicor, focusing on Internet linking strategies; engaging physicians, patients, and caregivers through online social community dialogue; tracking online trends and enhancing SEO by maximizing user-generated content for client’s brands. INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? PLEASE CONTACT MARVIN BOWE @ MBOWE@NAVICORGROUP.COM