how to Breast cancer, an organization seeking to simplify and streamline information for breast cancer patients, announced today the launch of a new, online platform, thebreastcancerguide.com. The organization and online hub was created by Amelia O’Relly, who became inspired after her own breast cancer journey began. how to Breast cancer serves as an online community with a central source and single location for helpful, easy-to-use toolsfor breast cancer patients, their loved ones and caregivers.
As part of the launch and in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, how to Breast cancer hosted a webinar to discuss the site. The webinar served as a fundraiser, bringing in more than $12,000 so far. The funds will be donated to METAvivor, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
Guest speakers included Dr. Zeina Nahleh, Chair, Department of Hematology-Oncology and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Maroone Cancer Center and psychologist, Dr. Selin Santos Psy.D., Department of Hematology-Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Florida Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Nahleh shared information on how health care providers, family members and friends can provide support to help improve outcomes for breast cancer patients. Dr. Santos shared information on healthy coping strategies, including personal care, healthy eating, establishing a physical care regimen and meditation.
“It is important to remove the stigma and to recognize that a cancer patient is adjusting to a major life event with which they have little or no experience,” Dr. Santos said. “Therefore, finding the right ways to cope with the stress, depression, anxiety and trauma often brought on by the cancer diagnosis is an integral part of the journey.”
“Cancer care is a partnership between the patient, their family and loved ones, and their cancer team. It’s this partnership that leads to the best results,” Dr. Nahleh said. “Additionally, each person is unique, as is their diagnosis. Each individual must remain focused on their own health and what they can do instead of comparing themselves to others,” Dr. Nahleh added.
The online platform’s founder, Amelia O’Relly, gained inspiration to create and lead how to Breast cancer after learning about her own late-stage, metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in 2019.
“While there is a torrent of information online, it is often scattered around the internet and wrought with jargon,” O’Relly said. “This lack of centralization leaves already overwhelmed patients with a strong desire for simple resources that can be accessed in one user-friendly place.”
O’Relly decided to create the resource herself; an online space that allows patients to find useful information, feel guided and share their personal journeys in a place that offers empathy, shared experiences and humor. Though the website is in its early stages, O’Relly felt it important to begin making the resources available.
In 2021, breast cancer became the most common cancer globally, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. by the end of the calendar year. For men, the estimate is 2,650 new cases by the end of the year.
“The need is staggering for a streamlined resource that cuts through the clutter the way the how to Breast cancer site does. It should be easier for people to find the information they need in a single hub, and to be guided, informed and feel more at ease in managing through an incredibly difficult and confusing time,” said O’Relly. “That’s my intention for how our website serves people.”
O’Relly is actively working on a formal guidebook, the how to Breast cancer Guide, that will further her mission to provide a simple, understandable and relatable resource for those beginning and going through the breast cancer journey.
About how to Breast cancer
how to Breast cancer is an organization fully dedicated to helping breast cancer patients, their loved ones, caregivers and the community by serving as a central source and a single place for helpful, easy-to-use tools and practices for successfully navigating the breast cancer journey. The organization was founded by Amelia O’Relly, whose inspiration to create and lead how to Breast cancer began after receiving her own metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.
Amelia O’Relly’s Breast Cancer Story
Amelia O’Relly remembers her reaction the day her doctor told her she had late-stage, metastatic breast cancer, an often terminal diagnosis. “It was pure shock,” she said.
That day in 2019, she conducted a rapid mental inventory of the women in her family who had ever been diagnosed with the disease. Zero. She also surveyed her lifestyle choices. Nondrinker. Nonsmoker. Daily exercise and meditation regimen. Gratitude journal keeper.
“None of it made sense. I was utterly perplexed,” O’Relly recalled.
Within the next several weeks, and after seeking second opinions, she decided to move forward with an aggressive chemotherapy treatment that began within a month of her diagnosis. That’s when her journey to understand how life might unfold and change in the days, weeks, months and prayerfully, the years to come, started.
The top questions that traversed O’Relly’s mind regularly were: What did the diagnosis mean? What were her treatment options? How might it change her quality of life? How long could she live? What else in the unknown lay ahead? How could she best support her physical and mental health? Where could she find the most reliable, trusted information about breast cancer and her specific diagnosis?
She began to research to find the answers to her questions and quickly discovered there wasn’t an easy-to-find, central place to get the answers she needed without feeling overwhelmed or inundated with information. That’s when the idea to create a place for people to find the answers to their questions took root. Two and a half years into her journey, in the summer of 2021, how to Breast cancer was launched.
“I decided after several rounds into my treatment journey, which is still ongoing, to begin to look for what I could do with what I was learning and what I would experience in my journey,” said O’Relly. “I did not just want to help myself get better, I also wanted to help as many people as possible to do better.”
Prior to founding how to Breast cancer, Amelia spent 20 years serving in executive roles with a focus on Human Resources for several Fortune 500 companies, spanning multiple industries and countries. She was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the U.S. with her parents and sister in 1980. Amelia grew up in the Tampa, Fla. area and earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of South Florida.
Amelia now spends her time focused on creating the very best tools and resources to help others successfully navigate their breast cancer journey and is the author of the upcoming book, the how to Breast cancer Guide.
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SOURCE: how to Breast cancer