4 Key Engagement Drivers Among Women Facing Breast Cancer
MyBCTeam members share the impact of our social network
A friend of mine, Anna, was busy juggling work and family life when the pandemic interrupted her (and everyone’s) schedule. Undaunted, she adjusted to this new normal. But then, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no other choice but to engage with the disease: researching online, talking to her nurse navigator, and flipping through her medical folder filled with answers to the question all newly diagnosed patients face: “So you have Breast Cancer. Now what?”
With Breast Cancer Awareness Month quickly approaching, we recently conducted a survey among the 50,000+ registered members of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer that we launched in 2012. We wanted to understand what’s working for women like Anna, and where MyBCTeam can improve. The findings reveal the impact being part of this community has on their lives. The findings also illustrate 4 key components of the MyBCTeam experience that make our mobile and web apps part of their daily habit: basic info on breast cancer, social support, practical tips, and medical insights.
From the outset, our intent was to make it easy for women to connect with others facing similar challenges. No one should have to reinvent the wheel after a breast cancer diagnosis. People need trusted information, which can be hard to sort through on “Dr. Google.” And they need authentic personal connections with others who get it, because they’re going through the same thing – the type of real-talk conversations many don’t want to have with their Facebook friends.
Fast-forward 8 years, and we’re proud to be delivering on the promise. 69% of survey respondents report they’re extremely or very likely to recommend MyBCTeam to a friend.
As we look ahead, we remain committed to continually improving the MyBCTeam experience – based on ongoing feedback from members. A few examples of the types of content we create to address their priorities.
1) Breast Cancer Basics, such as the many below-the-surface impacts that significantly influence quality of life – helping people know what to expect in their “new normal.”
2) Social Support, including crowdsourcing lifehacks from MyBCTeam members sharing practical tips with each other about things such as managing stress while living with breast cancer.
3) Practical Tips, on everything from keeping track of doctor appointments to eating well during chemo to managing job responsibilities while in treatment – and much more, given the wide-ranging impact this disease has on every aspect of a woman’s life.
4) Medical Insights, which are designed to educate members about the latest findings on symptoms, treatments, side effects and more – on topics such as metastatic breast cancer – in order to empower them to work effectively with their doctors in making the decisions that are right for them.
Every day, we get positive feedback from our members – which is what keeps our MyHealthTeams team so enthusiastic about doing the work. The healthcare system is just not set up to deliver the daily support and practical tips people want and need to best manage their health and life while living with breast cancer (or any of the 36 other chronic conditions we serve).
My friend Anna is not quite through her treatment plan, but is nearing the end. The support she has received from MyBCTeam has galvanized her to close the year much stronger than she began it. Seeing the power of patient-to-patient connections in action – and, now, seeing the survey results on the impact MyBCTeam has on people’s lives – we count ourselves fortunate to be doing well by doing good.