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April 9, 2013
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Breast cancer support group available for rural women

Online support groups are available for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The support groups are part of a study funded by California Breast Cancer Research Program to determine whether the use of group video technology such as Skype or Web-ex is effective at reducing the stress, depression and social isolation that accompanies a breast cancer diagnosis, according to a press release. The support groups of eight to 10 women are led by a trained facilitator for an hour and a half per week for eight weeks. The study is designed for women to join from their own home in real-time format, the release stated. The only requirement is to have an Internet-connected computer with a camera. Cameras are available for loan if necessary. Support group meetings will be held on Tuesday evenings or Saturday mornings.

One in eight women in California will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in her lifetime, the release stated. Although the value of support groups for women diagnosed with breast and other cancers is well-documented, the sparse population of California’s rural counties often means that there are not enough women to sustain an in-person group, the release stated. Sierra Streams Institute, a Nevada City-based nonprofit environmental science organization, is teaming up with Stanford University researchers to offer professionally-facilitated online video support groups for women in rural counties who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the study, women will be divided into groups to receive the support group intervention along with a workbook journal, or to receive the workbook journal alone.

Enrollment in the study is currently open to women over the age of 21 in rural California counties who have recently received a breast cancer diagnosis within the past five years. A $50 stipend is available to participants.

For more information, visit or contact Lisa at the Sierra Stanford Partnership at 530-265-2442.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 9, 2013 01:00AM Published Apr 13, 2013 12:04AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.