We’ve all heard the expressions- “quality over quantity,” “less is more,” even “time is short.” But what do they mean? For PeopleBeatingCancer, these expressions mean “media curation.” I have lived with an “incurable” cancer since early 1994 and I research cancer to provide cancer coaching to patients and caregivers through PeopleBeatingCancer. What does it mean to curate cancer information on the Internet?
The Internet is huge. “Between the dawn of civilization through 2003 there was just five exabytes of information created,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the audience at the 2010 Techonomy Conference, in Lake Tahoe. “That much information is now created every two days, and the pace is increasing. People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.”
I continually research cancer topics in my effort to bring those studies and articles to PeopleBeatingCancer so that people who use the site can learn about cancer. This is how PBC demystifies cancer.
When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it is delivered by a well-meaning but time-crunched oncologist. Invariably the person who has received the cancer diagnosis has questions- lots of questions. When the person who has received a cancer diagnosis tries to search the Internet for information about his/her diagnosis, stage, therapies, health insurance, etc. the sheer size and scope of cancer information on the Internet overwhelms the cancer patient frustrating the patient.
Can a cancer survivor rely on the information provided by his/her oncologist? In the blog post titled “Why Cancer Patients Can’t Trust Conventional Cancer Research,” I outlined the reasons why cancer research and conventional oncology may not support the newly diagnosed cancer survivor/caregiver.
The mission of PeopleBeatingCancer is to continually search the Internet and curate the most relevant cancer content available for cancer survivors and caregivers. Who decides what’s the most relevant content out there? There is no better teacher than experience and I have experienced every aspect of the wide-world of cancer since my original diagnosis in 1994. Because I am a product of my cancer experience I believe that PBC provides a spectrum of curated cancer content that is most relevant to cancer patients and their caregivers.
An example of how PBC curates cancer content from the Internet is below:
A side-effect of toxic therapy for all pediatric and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients, male and female, are fertility issues. Historically, anyone recieving high-does toxic chemotherapy or radiation may be rendered infertile. The video linked below describes the basic fertility challenges.
“An injection of banked sperm-producing stem cells can restore fertility to male primates who become sterile due to cancer drug side effects, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute. In their animal study, which was published today in Cell Stem Cell, previously frozen stem cells restored production of sperm that successfully fertilized eggs to produce early embryos.”
When I underwent high-dose toxic chemotherapy in 1995 I was froze some of my own sperm. While this technology was in its infancy, freezing one’s sperm was the only alternative to chemotherapy-induced infertility at the time. Happily, this sperm resulted in my wife’s pregancy and our son was born on 9/25/98. As of the writing of this blog post, Alex is a wonderful (usually) 14 year-old adolescent boy.