How EXT Caused Based Social Network Technology Can Help Cancer Patients

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It is universally understood that social relationships tend to have a powerful effect on one’s physical and mental overall health. Because one’s mental health tends to affect how one physically feels, it also stands that it would affect our medical well being. Social networks and having a support system in place or lack thereof, can predict a broad range of health outcomes, from survival after heart attacks, prognosis of disease progression and one’s ability to function with an incapacitating disease.

In Sweden in 1985, there was a Goteborg study, which showed that in different groups of men, social isolation proved to be a risk factor for dying, independent of their respective biomedical status. Also in Alameda Count in California in 1979, a study concluded that men and women who lacked ties to others were 1.9 to 3.1 times more likely to die than those who had a rich social life. However, it was not until the 1970’s that epidemiologists turned their attention to the critical role of social relationships in long term health outcomes. A social network is a structure made up of individuals or organizations, which are linked by type and function such as friendship, kinship, sexual relationship, professional, knowledge, status, religion, or even associations of fellow survivors


Although not all ties are supportive in nature; a socially supportive relationship can be divided into subgroups that might include emotional, functional, informational, helpful and loyal in nature. On a community level when relationships are solid, one tends to feel strong bonds and attachment to people in the neighborhood and to organizations, such as a church. Usually with a strong social network comes better overall health for everyone.

Peer pressure may influence health behaviors. Shared norms regarding alcohol or cigarette consumption, even medical treatment compliance are apt to have an effect on one’s health. Several studies (Bassuk et al., 1999) suggest that social engagement is critical to maintaining cognitive ability and reducing mortality in the elderly and the incapacitated.


Social network analysis software is used to identify, analyze, and simulate organizations, and relationships from various types of data. The form of a social network helps determine its usefulness to the individual in question. Smaller networks can sometimes be less useful than larger ones with loose ties to the individual. The reason this is true often is because networks even with weak ties and social connections, are more likely to introduce new ideas and opportunities, than closed networks with redundant ties, as would often be the case with close friends. In other words, a team of individuals with connections to other social worlds will have access to a wider range of information than a small group of friends who might do things only with each other and thus would tend to share only similar knowledge and opportunities.


Practically speaking friendships are rooted in an environment in which society may influence the outcome of an endeavor. Thus social networking can have an important effect on one’s health. We do know that social networks have a tendency to operate on five primary pathways: social support; social influence; social engagement; person-to-person contact; and access to goods and resources. These in turn have an effect on one’s health status, stress responses, psychological states, exposure to infectious disease agents and health promoting or damaging behaviors. is a social network on the internet that uses EXT Wisdom Search technology. This technology helps empower patients by providing advocates and volunteers to support patients, against  Cancer. This program also allows each member of the team to have access to the latest health news and information. They say knowledge is power. With greater information being received overall through social networking, the patient is better able to take back control and feel less fear of the unknown, feel less guilt, anger, blame or resentment of others’ good health.


The cause based social support network (SSN) evolves from the traditional social network on the internet that is basically organized for the entertainment value of its participants, such as My Space, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. However, SSN’s are composed of small social networks called Micro Support Networks. These social networks revolve around a single user also called Beneficiary or Patient who faces a personal challenge, in this case Cancer. The patient or Beneficiary has a team in place composed of friends, advocates, volunteers and specialists who have the world’s information at their fingertips via the internet. They in turn are totally loyal to their Beneficiary. They support and advocate for that person. They answer questions, find information, assist in accessing alternate therapies as/ if appropriate for the individual, and in general rally around this person providing support, hope and friendship. This is extremely important and of medical benefit to the Beneficiary. Research suggests that patients who have a social support network and who remain proactive outlive those who do not.

A SSN’s infrastructure asks its users to register and participate according to a specific user type: either Beneficiary, Advocate, or Volunteer. The goal of each Micro Support Network is to remove frustration and obstacles from a Beneficiary’s personal challenge; give the Beneficiary the ability to focus their energy on healing; empower the Beneficiary to access all information available that is relevant to their condition; surround the Beneficiary with a support community of other survivors in like situations; and enable the Beneficiary to create an educated plan tailored to their unique needs.

Cancer poses not just a battle of one’s health, but also a battle of energy, hope and drive. Cancer patients use energy trying to find accurate information, dealing with insurance companies, depression, obtaining money to pay for meds and medical treatment and finding information. All this on top of dealing with their daily lives and responsibilities. Access to a SSN allows them to offload most of these tasks to their Micro Support Network in an organized and efficient way.


If a Beneficiary has an appointment for chemotherapy he/she might need a lift to and from the clinic, need meals prepared, need someone to pick up medications, individuals to check up on him/her following the treatment or encouragement. All these tasks and more are divided among the Beneficiary’s Advocate network to allow him/her to focus on just getting better. All members of the SSN are there to advance the cause of the Beneficiary.


The goal of is to change cancer patients from hopeless to hopeful by converting the support network from helpless to helpful. 

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