The following is from part of an online article called “Friends in Need – Online social media promote connection, education, and support” by Karen Patterson

“A survey last fall by Manhattan Research found about 35 percent of U.S. adults use online support sites and other health-related social media. In just two years, the American Cancer Society has developed followings of more than 16,000 people on Twitter, and nearly 170,000 on Facebook.

“Everybody agrees that social media and the Internet are becoming very important in terms of public health issues,” says John Mack, executive editor and publisher of Pharma Marketing News and Pharma Marketing Blog. “It’s where people now go to first when they’re trying to find out about medical conditions, even before they talk to their doctor.”

One key attraction is that any person, anywhere—whether they are a patient, survivor, caregiver, family member, or friend—can find someone else in similar circumstances.

“The Internet in general and, more recently, social media are really what led to the whole young adult movement,” says Heidi Adams, founder of Planet Cancer, a social and informational site for young adults with cancer, and director of grassroots engagement for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. “Prior to 2000 there really wasn’t any way for this fragmented patient population to find each other and connect. Planet Cancer was created as an online home to connect patients.”

Thyroid Cancer SURVIVOR’s thoughts:  If you are reading this post, chances are that you are also part of one of the hundreds of social media sites.  I admit it.  I have spread my cancer survivor spirit out into a few of them.  And in turn, I have “friended” and “followed” some very inspiring cancer survivors.  There are several “virtual” cancer survivor support groups on Facebook and today I started my own called the “Cancer SURVIVORS” group on Facebook. So consider this your personal invitation  to join the group!  

If tweeting is your thing, I also have an account on Twitter.  I have been active on this one for a few months now.  I was surprised at how many people talk about thyroid cancer on their.  I have met some very cool cancer survivors, including my friend Chris who is the captain of our Wings of Hope team in the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life! So feel free to follow me on Twitter and we can connect in 140 characters or less.