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With October marking the start of International Breast Cancer Awareness month, it's a good time to highlight some of the people and organizations helping fight the disease.
Since National Breast Cancer Awareness month was established nearly three decades ago, researchers have made great strides in combating the disease, with life expectancy rising in many instances. Still, the disease remains prevalent, as one out of every eight women will be diagnosed with the disease over the course of her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Nearly 234,000 people, moreover, will be diagnosed this year with breast cancer in the United States, and 40,000 people will die from it.
Yet scientists have continued to make progress in reversing these figures. A new drug developed by pharmaceutical company Roche, for example, was recently shown to drastically improve life expectancy among women with advanced stage breast cancer, according to The New York Times.
Entrepreneurs and other businesses have also sought to help breast cancer sufferers, seizing on the opportunity to develop apps that serve as resources for people who have been diagnosed or are undergoing treatment for the disease. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’ve created a list of some of the most promising and innovative apps now available.
- Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide: Developed by the nonprofit organization BreastCancer.org, the Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide is designed to help people newly diagnosed with the disease, as well as their loved ones, to better understand their prognosis and treatment plans. The app breaks down the various steps that come after the initial test results are in, and shows different pathways that patients can take moving forward.
- Pill Manager: Pill manager was created specifically to help people remember when and how to take their medicine. The service, which is available in the Apple and Google stores and can be accessed on desktop computers, keeps a detailed list of all prescribed medications that can easily be e-mailed; re-orders prescriptions so users will never run out; and transfers your prescription history to pharmacies or hospitals, saving time.
- Cancer Coach: This app, which was co-developed by BreastCancer.org, is similar to the Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide in that it helps newly diagnosed cancer patients understand the huge amount of information they’re faced with upon diagnosis. The Cancer Coach app offers a number of interesting features, offering suggestions for questions to ask your doctor, a personalized calendar to keep track of various appointments, and note-taking and glossary sections.
- Breast Cancer: Beyond the Shock: Created by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Beyond the Shock app was designed with input from physicians with the needs of patients in mind. The app offers video testimonials of women diagnosed with the disease; allows users to ask and have their questions answered; and works as a tool that doctors can use to share information about the latest and most innovative treatment therapies.