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Breast Cancer Survival Rate Climbs Due To Facebook
FRISCO, Tex. (CAP) - In what is being lauded as the "modern power of social networking," a new study to be released today reports a nationwide spike in the survival rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer - and it's all thanks to Facebook. The report credits the recent "I Like It" status craze with the astounding turnaround.
"Typical survival rates for a Stage Three cancer can be as low as 54, 55 percent," said Dr. Beth Livingston of the American Breast Cancer Research Initiative. "But ever since women starting telling their Facebook friends where they like to leave their purses, those numbers have gone through the roof. If only we'd thought of this approach sooner."
Over the past couple of weeks, tens of thousands of women have taken to the social networking site to say where they "like it" - with it being a veiled sexual reference that actually indicates where they typically leave their purse or handbag. Some like it on the stairs, some in the closet, and some on the kitchen floor. Little did any of them know that with every status post, a life would be saved.
"Once was the time when you'd actually have to participate in some sort of fundraising event, collect money, donate it to research, and then wait for scientists to make advances on possible cures," said CAP News Health Editor Noley Thornton. "But charity walks take time, so it's great to know that with just a few clicks of the mouse, you can do your part and get back to your day."
In a new-look culture that values every moment - trying to make sure there's time for family, friends and Farmville - knowing that such a small action can have such a big impact is key to our complacency as a society, say psychologists. And to be able to achieve that self-satisfaction with a little bit of humor makes it all the more palatable.
"Laughter really is the best medicine," said psychologist Dr. Lars Nelson. "To be able to trivialize such a devastating disease yet make more strides in a week than scientists have done in a decade just goes to show what people can accomplish when we set our minds to it."
Nelson said the age of the sappy public service announcement may very well be over, replaced instead by snappy social networking branding techniques. And unlike the outmoded awareness campaign of wearing pink, which many say lost its impact years ago, the new methods remain fresh and fun and can be enjoyed by people who have no idea they're participating in a charitable event.
"Oh, I love posting sexual innuendo stuff for everyone to see - you know, things I could never actually say in person," said Facebook user Patty Stanton. "When I said I once liked it on the roof of my car in the parking lot at Macy's, I had no idea it was for such a great cause. I'm happy to have done my part."
Given the success of the social network approach to battling breast cancer, organizers have already begun plans to take similar action for other causes. Next month, the "I Like It" status game will focus on battered women, asking people to post a status with the location on their body where they got their last mosquito bite (eg: "I like it on my cheek").
Other efforts in the coming months will take up such causes as the homeless (the last food you threw up), child pornography (what you currently have on for underwear), and Sarah Palin's 2012 election hopes (mashing your forehead on the keyboard).
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