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2013-01-20 at NOON

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By Jamie Smith,
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When a person is told they have cancer, it’s all they hear.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre executive vice-president Mark Henderson said the most intelligent person can have the clearest explanation from the most gifted doctors about the process, but sometimes it doesn’t help.

“We know from research as soon as a patient leaves the office or clinic, about 50 per cent of what they heard they’ve already forgotten,” he said.

So on Wednesday, the hospital launched the MyCancerGuide website in order to explain what to expect while going through the process. Everything from surgeries to surviving is laid out for patients and their families.

“The next time they have an encounter with health care they’ll be much better informed, they’ll ask better questions and it will be a much better situation for them,” Henderson said.

Hospital volunteer Kathy Forbes said having the website when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and then lung cancer the following year. Forbes admits that she isn’t a computer person but went online to do some research when she was first diagnosed.

“It scared me, it totally scared me so I backed away,” she said.

But on Wednesday Forbes, who has been cancer-free for more than a year, was navigating the site like a pro  in front of a room full of health care professionals. She said it’s proof that the site is easy to use.

“It totally personalizes the whole aspect of cancer,” she said.

Both Forbes and Henderson are quick to caution that the site is not a replacement for the personal interactions needed with doctors and other health care workers through the cancer process.

Visit the site here  the access code is northwest.

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We've improved our comment system.
badanai says:
This is good news but I am hoping they will continue to grow this service as there are more types of cancers than they are currently addressing on the website. Also awareness of young adult (20's and 30's) related cancers would be beneficial and is often a demographic under looked. I'm speaking from personal experience and know that this could have been addressed differently.

1/21/2013 9:54:45 AM
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