Social media app provides ‘invaluable’ support for patients with breast cancer

A clinical nurse specialist set up and moderates the WhatsApp networking group 

A clinical nurse specialist set up and moderates the WhatsApp networking group 

Picture: iStock

A nurse who established a social media group to support women with secondary breast cancer has said it brings many benefits to the participants.  

Tracy Gill, a clinical nurse specialist in metastatic breast cancer at Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool, set up the WhatsApp group six months ago as an additional form of support for women with the disease.

She acts as moderator for the group and checks the messages daily.

Keeping in touch

Ms Gill explained: ‘We use a trust mobile phone specifically for the group and it is working really well. If people can’t come to the trust’s support group in person, they can still keep in touch with the other women.

‘They encourage each other if they have appointments or tests, and gain strength through talking about their experiences or if, for example, someone famous has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, such as the singer and actor Olivia Newton-John.

‘The women also encourage each other to keep in touch if they haven’t heard from someone for a little while.

‘We have all found the WhatsApp group really helpful, and it has been an invaluable addition to the women’s care.’

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