Online Social Networks - Opportunities for Empowering Cancer Patients


Health Information Management Department, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Online social network technologies have become important to health and apply in most health care areas. Particularly in cancer care, because it is a disease which involves many social aspects, online social networks can be very useful. Use of online social networks provides a suitable platform for cancer patients and families to present and share information about their medical conditions, address their educational needs, support decision making, and help to coping with their disease and improve their own outcomes. Like any other new technologies, online social networks, along with many benefits, have some negative effects such as violation of privacy and publication of incorrect information. However, if these effects are managed properly, they can empower patients to manage cancer through changing behavioral patterns and enhancing the quality of cancer patients lives This paper explains some application of online social networks in the cancer patient care process. It also covers advantages and disadvantages of related technologies.