By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Social media is the go-to place to keep in touch with family and friends. Now there’s a Facebook-like site designed to help people cope with cancer. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on this new way to connect.

Every 23 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with cancer. And for those people and their loved ones, the feeling of isolation that often comes with a diagnosis can be hard to bare. But now, this new website can help that.

When Mailet Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 she felt completely alone.

“Although I had really wonderful family and friends and great doctors I didn’t have someone that I could connect to, someone that had been through my same experience,” said Mailet.

So she decided to do something about it. She’s launching a social networking site for cancer patients called IHadCancer.com.

“We wanted to stay focused on connecting people,” said Mailet.

Members can stay anonymous or share limited information. They can also search other people by their type of cancer.

Heatheran Christopher, an ovarian cancer survivor, joined the site after doctors gave her the diagnosis. She says family members tell you what they think you want to hear. But people on the site tell it like it is.

“They know exactly what they’ve gone through and you’re going to trust them because they spent the time getting sick and throwing up,” said Heatheran.

And Mailet says there’s a reason her site is called “I Had Cancer” and not “I Have Cancer.”

“It’s looking towards the future; it’s providing hope,” said Mailet.

The new website is not just for cancer patients. The creator says people who care for sick loved ones can also benefit. For more information, visit http://ihadcancer.com/

Reported by Stepahnie Stahl, CBS 3

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