By Jennifer Tredwell, Director, Marketing
On Sept. 21, 2010, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) entered the world of social networking with the creation of a page on Facebook. The intent of the NCCN page is to further expand NCCN's reach to patients, caregivers, cancer survivors, and family members of patients with cancer. Postings cover information about the recently launched NCCN Guidelines for Patients™. Residing on NCCN.com, the patient website of NCCN, these Guidelines are patient-friendly translations of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™) and provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment information in easy-to-understand language to help patients talk with their doctors about treatment options that are best for them. NCCN.com is pleased to present the new NCCN Guidelines for Patients™ on Breast Cancer, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma, Prostate Cancer, and Ovarian Cancer. Additional NCCN Guidelines for Patients™ will be available shortly and will be promoted on Facebook.
Other content on the NCCN Facebook page includes news from the NCCN Member Institutions about patient resources and research findings as well as articles covering chemotherapy side effects, information for caregivers, and nutrition for survivors. Helpful facts are also provided, including statistics for survivors and monthly recognition of specific cancers.
The NCCN Facebook page lets followers know when new contributions on NCCN.com are available. Jai Pausch, widow of Randy Pausch, author of the internationally acclaimed best-selling book, The Last Lecture, shares her experience and real-world wisdom as a cancer caregiver in a regular column.
Also posted are notices of new video content on NCCN.com. At the recent NCCN 16th Annual Conference, Sam Donaldson, ABC News veteran and Chair of the NCCN Foundation Board of Directors, moderated a roundtable of notable panelists and addressed the many challenges and roles that caregivers and their family members face as their loved ones undergo treatment for cancer. The panelists included clinicians and celebrities, such as former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher; Priscilla Mack, wife of Senator Connie Mack; Charlie "Chaz" Ebert, wife of famed film critic Roger Ebert; Jai Pausch, wife of the late Randy Pausch; Liz Scott, mother of Alex's Lemonade Stand founder Alex Scott; and Dr. Sam Silver, Director of the University of Michigan Cancer Center Network — all cancer caregivers and/or cancer survivors themselves. Facebook assisted in announcing the availability of 10- to 15-minute video segments and the recap article of this valuable discussion of the intense care needed for family members and the significant impact on the physical, emotional, and financial health of the caregivers themselves.
As of June 2011, NCCN's Facebook page has acquired hundreds of followers and is continuing to grow as interest and awareness continue to build.