Most people in New Zealand know someone who has or has had breast cancer. In fact, around the world breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and in New Zealand, statistics show one in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer - that’s about 3000 women every year.1
This is one of the reasons why earlier this year Melon Health teamed up with the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation to create an online support resource for New Zealanders affected by breast cancer - both patients and their supporters.
“We’ve searched the world to see what’s available, and I’m glad to say the functionality mybc is beyond anything that has been launched before”
Since launching in late October 2016, hundreds of women have joined mybc sharing their experiences and supporting each other.
“We’ve searched the world to see what’s available, and I’m glad to say the functionality mybc is beyond anything that has been launched before,” says Van Henderson, chief executive of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Mybc is world-first for this disease and it is really positive seeing people interacting with each other on the community newsfeed and engaging with the tools and resources it provides.
The main component of mybc is the online peer support community.
“You can be in an appointment and don’t think of all the questions you have and then you go home and suddenly you have 1001 questions.”
On the newsfeed people can share their thoughts, questions and milestones to a community of people who are experiencing the same thing. People comment on posts and offer support, share knowledge and get to know each other. One patient explains, “it means you’re not alone, you’re not alone in your diagnosis. You have all your friends and family around you, but nobody knows what you’re going through, but on here (mybc) everyone knows what you’re going through.”
Another feature of the app is the ‘who’s in my area’ function which allows people to get in touch with others who live in the same area of New Zealand, which offers another level of connectivity.
Mybc offers a lot more than just peer support. It also offers a ‘Living Well’ programme and access to breast care nurse. People can direct message or schedule a video call with a breast care nurse to discuss their concerns. As New Zealand patient, Lorna Subritzky, commented, “You can be in an appointment and don’t think of all the questions you have and then you go home and suddenly you have 1001 questions.” Access to a breast care nurse online allows all these questions to be answered outside of the clinical setting.
Mybc is at the fingertips of patients and their supporters providing them with real-time support, information and resources. People can track their track their progress by keeping a daily record of their mood, energy levels, and treatment side-effects, which can be useful information for the care-team at the next appointment. The app provides a safe place for uploading medical documents, keeping medical teams contact details, and setting reminders about medication and upcoming appointments. Additionally, mybc offers a range of reliable resources for example, medical information, FAQ’s, videos, and patient stories.
The Living Well programme comprises of modules including nutrition, bone health, sexual intimacy after a mastectomy and dealing with early menopause to name a few.
Mybc is delivered across the web, iPhone and Android. You can download the app on the App Store or Google Play, or go to www.mybc.care to sign up.
For further information, please contact email@example.com
1: The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from http://nzbcf.org.nz/BREASTCANCER/Overview/BreastCancerinNZ/Fastfacts.aspx
WHO | Breast cancer: Prevention and control. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from http://who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/