Essay about Using Social Media to Support Women

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Social Networking or Web 2.0 is a valuable tool which has become widely popular in today’s society. I am new to this type of media, and I was faced with a speedy introduction into a vast world of electronically shared communication via Social Networking. The final media assignment in this class is to propose and solve one of three potential problems-- using two of four social media communication tools. My passion is to help other BRCA+ women gather the strength and knowledge needed to make the very difficult decision of having prophylactic surgery. The medical community will tell you the choice is right, however only another woman who has gone through the procedure can truly attest to the emotions involved. Prophylactic oopherectomy is also considered in this decision however it is not as emotional as bilateral mastectomies. Although only 20 percent of the women who get breast cancer will be BRCA+, the choice of prophylactic surgery is a daunting one. If approved, my BRCA+ patient study disseminated through Web 2.0 media will allow me to help this small subset of women; those who are trying to decide between prophylactic mutilation, and/or surgically induced menopause, in exchange for a life without cancer.
Primary Proposal: A BRCA+ patient’s perspective. Have you ever been faced with a medical decision, formally suggested to you by a surgeon, only to wonder afterward if you made the right choice? As a patient who was formally educated in oncology, I was that person. I always wondered how other women felt about their decision after showing up for prophylactic bilateral mastectomies. Faced with a genetic mutation, how did they feel after the surgery? Were they relieved? Did they have regrets? Were their friends and family suppor...

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In conclusion, I believe my greatest chance at success with Web 2.0 social media stands with my first proposal. Using Facebook, Twitter and forums I will circulate the Google Doc online questionnaire which will truly help other women. This sharing of knowledge in an anonymous survey, with regard to a very difficult decision, may actually save someone from dying of cancer. It is extremely difficult to muster up the emotional strength to show up for prophylactic bilateral mastectomies and or prophylactic oopherectomies. Yes, women do have reconstruction, and the choices are widely varied, however this too is also addressed in my survey. I believe the strength of social media can be used to help the BRCA+ woman who is facing a difficult decision, and it will lift up the spirits of those who have gone through it-- to know that their voices are being heard.

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