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ECU researchers fight breast cancer online

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


An Edith Cowan University (ECU) research team is working with the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA (BCFWA) to take the fight against breast cancer online.

ECU's Professor Lelia Green, Ms Leesa Bonniface and Mrs Vanessa Bradshaw, who also works for BCFWA, have received $220,000 from the Australian Research Council to develop an online community to support breast cancer survivors.

The team will work to improve education and support for women living with breast cancer, with the ultimate aim of achieving earlier detection of breast cancer, and enhanced recovery rates.

The project investigates whether the ‘cluster-power' of social networking software can be harnessed to build integrated and supportive online communities.

Project leader and Associate Dean of Research and Higher Degrees at ECU's Faculty of Education and Arts, Professor Lelia Green says that online communities can be a valuable source of support.

"People who make a home for themselves in an online community both give and receive support," she said.

"Belonging to an e-community offers round-the-clock connectedness and can help someone feel better in themselves, and more confident about handling their illness positively.

"We are very excited about working with the Breast Cancer Foundation of Western Australia in this important work."

The Breast Cancer Foundation of WA provides personalised support and care for those affected by breast cancer.

The new online community will offer people a chance to talk about their experiences and share their concerns with others who know what they're going through.

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