The Quantified Self: Past, Present, & Future
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Analysis and Impact of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Groups on Social Networks – Springer

There are few researches about the use of social networks for medical purposes. Starting from De la Torre and her colleagues research “A content analysis of chronic diseases social groups on Facebook and Twitter” (2012) and due to the presence of both breast and colorectal cancer over the social networks; the status and impact of these cancer-related groups will be analyzed. We searched on Facebook ( and Twitter ( using the term ‘colorectal cancer’ and ‘breast cancer’. The following data has been extracted in base to analyze the real repercussion of these groups: name of the networks, member number, creator, interests (based on messages off the site Wall, plus relevant information), and Website. We found 241 breast cancer and 173 colorectal cancer groups. The main aim of the groups about these kinds of cancers is the awareness-raising (37%). Added to the 21% of groups dedicated to fight the disease are the main target of the networks towards these issues. This target is consciousness-raising as a way to eradicate and prevent the cancers. Groups dedicated to raise funds also need to be mentioned; they gather the 46% of users, due to the fact that only by belonging to the groups means more resources for mammograms, treatments and investigations.

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