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Survivor Creates Breast Cancer Website

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Getting a diagnosis of cancer can be heart wrenching. That's why one woman is using her experience in fighting breast cancer to help others.

Type in the phrase "breast cancer" on the internet and you instantly get 5.5 million different websites.

It's far more than anyone can sift through in a lifetime. So one woman decided to make it easier.

Ellen Seidler/ Breast Cancer Survivor: "In my life I can't remember a time when I was more scared. It was just brutal."

Ellen Seidler survived her bout with breast cancer. And it left her determined to help other women, to make it easier for them to find the information they need to survive the disease.

So Ellen created the Breast Cancer Network website.

It gives visitors the skills they need to navigate the web and links them to sites where they can get information about the different forms of breast cancer, about treatment options, about life after surgery.

But it begins with something much more personal-- showing women where they can find support.

Ellen Seidler: "It's really good to hear advice and feedback from people who have been in that situation. So support was important to me."

Ellen had clear ideas about what to include and what not to. For instance, no sites that were selling products or charging a fee.

And they have to be easy to use and understand.

Ellen: "As a patient these are sites that are well presented, that are up-to-date, that show the information is comprehensive and clear. The information is not geared toward doctors. It's geared towards lay people."

The idea is to help women become informed consumers so that they can make informed decisions. For Ellen, the research gave her something much more important than just information.

Ellen Seidler: "It also felt like I was taking control of the disease, instead of it controlling me."

"I wanted to turn something that had been a bad experience into a good experience, make something positive out of it, too."

Ellen says the web is particularly useful for women who live in rural areas where they don't have access to good hospitals or breast cancer experts.

For them, this can literally be a life saver.

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