The power of community - in an app!

One of the most difficult things about breast cancer can be feelings of isolation and loneliness. While breast cancer will happen to 1 in 8 women, it’s very often that a woman is diagnosed and doesn’t know other people who have been through the treatments.

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Enter Healthline.

Healthline is known for its extensive online information catalogs, but it decided to go one step further when it created an app just for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Although I’ve never used a dating app, I imagine this UX is very similar to popular “matching” apps.

It allows you to introduce yourself - provide a public image (or multiple ones, which is helpful to show how you looked throughout treatment and after!), give detailed information about your diagnosis, and share a written snapshot about who you are and what your life looks like.

For those of you who have not been through a cancer diagnosis, you may wonder why listing all of this information is important.

Here’s what most people don’t realize until they’ve known a breast cancer diagnosis: they are all different.

Each diagnosis is unique. Treatments can vary depending not only on the diagnosis, but also where you live and what facilities are available to you.

Your family life and lifestyle can also add nuance to the situation. For example, having young toddlers at the time of diagnosis has different challenges than a mom of teenagers at the time of diagnosis.

But Healthline allows users to put this information front and center with the goal of connecting with women who are going through similar scenarios.

 
A portion of my profile in the    Healthline breast cancer app   .

A portion of my profile in the Healthline breast cancer app.

 

The app allows women to connect one-on-one, but one of my favorite tools is the group chat. These are live chats that are moderated safe spaces for women to ask tough questions, share treatment pictures, and provide encouragement to their fellow breasties.

 
There are many channels in the “groups” section of the app that allow women to talk together about specific topics.

There are many channels in the “groups” section of the app that allow women to talk together about specific topics.

 

On Monday, December 10, I’ll be hosting my second group chat in the app!

We’ll kick off the hour-long discussion at 9 p.m. ET in the “Relationships” channel in Groups.

A month or so ago, I hosted my first chat about radiation treatment, helping women understand what to expect and what worked well for me during this process.

This time around, we’ll be talking about anxiety and the holidays! I’ll keep the group chatting with a variety of questions about their experiences going through holidays during treatment and, generally, post diagnosis. I promise it will be a great conversation, and, if you are a survivor experiencing anxiety, you will not feel alone!

To join (and receive reminders about the chat), download the app here.

Remember, the Breast Cancer Healthline app is only for current breast cancer patients and survivors. If you haven’t been diagnosed, but know someone who has, please share this tool with them! They will thank you!