Online community policies and announcements
posted by Irish Cancer Society
24 August 2015

Community Guidelines

The Irish Cancer Societyonline community is a welcoming and supportive place where people affected by cancer and those close to them can find information and support, ask questions and share information or personal experiences of their cancer.

To help keep this community an inclusive and safe place for active and supportive discussion, we ask that all of our users follow these simple guidelines.

Our community forum guidelines 

Who can join the discussion? Who can register?

The forum is aimed at anyone who is affected by cancer. However, other people may register too, as long as your posts remain relevant to the issues.

For the protection and safety of children, this forum does not support members under the age of 18.

Using the forum

  • We ask users to be kind and respectful to others
  • Be supportive and kind to each other - Many people sharing on the forum are going through difficult times. A few words of kindness can be very helpful and supportive. Please focus on showing support and always be sympathetic to other members’ feelings. 
  • Respect and be sensitive to the opinions of others - A wide range of people with very different experiences may use the forum.
  • Differences and debate may occasionally arise. Please make your points politely and respectfully and you can agree to disagree if you have differing opinions. 
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt-It can be very easy to misinterpret other people’s comments, especially when read or written in haste. Sarcasm and humour are particularly easy to misunderstand. 
  • Don't post any content that treats anyone unfairly-On the grounds of their sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or philosophical belief, disability, gender identity/reassignment, marital status, family circumstance or age; or anything that is threatening, obscene or in any way offensive.
  • Do not use bad language or swearing - or use language that others may find abusive or offensive. If you think someone is being aggressive or deliberately provoking others, please use the ‘report’ button to alert the moderators and then simply ignore them.
  • Don’t use all capital letters in your post - this is understood as ‘Shouting online’ and may offend others.

Privacy and safety 

  • Protect your privacy: This forum is public and your posts may appear in internet searches, only your profile and private messages are private. Please be careful with your personal information.
  • Don’t use your real, full name (or email address) as your username and do not post your contact details on the forum, like real name, address, email, phone number (We will remove them).
  • Keep your password private.
  • Respect the privacy of others - Please do not ask other users to post their personal information such as home addresses, telephone numbers, or email addresses, and do not pressure anybody into revealing information about themselves that they may not be comfortable with.
  • Be careful - please be careful about who you give your information to through private messaging. Think about your safety when arranging to meet people you have met on the forum. 
  • For the protection and safety of children, this forum does not support members under the age of 18.
  • Keeping it legal • Please do not identify specific healthcare professionals - (especially by name) who are treating you, or particular hospitals or GP surgeries – publishing that information could be considered libel.
  • Respect copyright -Only post your own content, otherwise you could be infringing copyright. This could include poems, stories, and reports.

No soliciting

  • The Irish Cancer Society Online Community is primarily for people affected by cancer to support each other – not for advertising products or services, finding a source to interview for a news story, or for recruiting research subjects to take a survey. These types of posts will be deleted. 
  • No commercial solicitation - this includes promoting web addresses, products or services and medical institutions for commercial gain. These will be treated as spam. Keep it relevant and honest.


  • Please do not create multiple accounts or pretend to be someone else.
  • Tell the truth about your experience and intentions- Make sure you always post from the same account so that others can get to know you. 


  • Write your posts in English This is because we are not able to moderate posts in other languages at present. It is also important to make sure that all members can understand each other’s posts and support each other.

No medical advice

  • Sharing experiences is at the heart of the forum - so please be careful not to give medical advice. 
  • Information provided via our community is not intended to replace or be a substitute for the advice and services of professional experts, but rather to provide signposts towards further information and support. 

Complementary therapies and alternative therapies

Complementary therapy is a type of treatment used alongside conventional treatments to improve quality of life. Complementary therapies do not influence the cancer itself but some can help to alleviate symptoms and the side effects of conventional treatments.

When discussing complementary therapies, you may;

  • Advocate the use of complementary therapies alongside conventional treatment;
  • Make evidence-based claims about the effectiveness of complementary therapies in improving quality of life 

When discussing complementary therapies we ask you not to:

  • Advocate using any complementary therapy as an alternative to conventional treatment; 
  • Claim that any complementary therapy can cure cancer, reduce the size of tumours or in any way treat cancer; 
  • Advise anyone to ignore medical experts’ advice on the use of any treatment whatsoever; 
  • Advertise any complementary therapy for commercial gain. 

Alternative therapy

Alternative therapy tries to treat cancer using unconventional methods instead of usual medical treatment.

When discussing alternative therapies, you may:

  • Provide anecdotal accounts about alternative therapy use, as long as you do not make claims about their effects.

When discussing alternative therapies, we ask you not to:

  • Advocate the use of any alternative therapy; 
  • Promote any alternative therapy. 
  • Claim that any alternative therapy can cure cancer, reduce the size of tumours or in any way treat cancer; 
  • Advise anyone to ignore medical experts’ advice on the use of any treatment whatsoever.

Suicide and self-harm

All mentions of intention to commit suicide, assisted suicide or self-harm will be removed from the site.

Expressions of thoughts and feelings may arise for some people from time to time about these issues which can be expressed. It is not your responsibility as another poster to offer counselling.

If you are worried about another member please refer the member to our Cancer Nurseline on 1 800 200 700 or The Samaritans on 1850 60 90 90. We take these messages very seriously and will offer members guidance to appropriate support and advice.


The team moderating the forum consists of Irish Cancer Society staff and our aim is to keep the forum safe, legal and supportive.

  • We do not approve every post before it goes live. This is why we need forum users to take responsibility for their own postings, and to report inappropriate posts.
  • When you contact us, you should expect a response within 3-5 days (it can be sooner). If you report a post, we will usually let you know what action we have taken. 
  • If you breach our guidelines, you will usually get a warning, or be placed under moderation (this means all your posts need to be approved by a moderator before going live).
  • If you continue to breach the guidelines, we will ban you permanently from the site. We issue permanent bans only as a last resort to protect our forum community.

The role of the Irish Cancer Society moderators is to help keep the forum safe and constructive for the benefit of all members.

In order to do this we may if the need arises:

  • Edit a post-We will usually let you know when we do this and why. It is most often to delete swearing or personal information.
  • Move a post or thread - to an area of the forum where it is more appropriate.
  • Delete a post-We will usually let you know when we do this and why. It is usually because of a breach of our guidelines. • We may contact you - by private message or email to make suggestions, or issue a warning.
  • Place users back in moderation (so all posts must be approved before going live).
  • Ban users
  • Close a thread - If a healthy discussion breaks down into an exchange of attacks and insults, or becomes too heated, we might close a thread to end the discussion and encourage people to move on.
  • Post - Occasionally we will post a message to users of the online community, for example when looking for feedback on our service. 

Cancer Information Service of the Irish Cancer Society

The Cancer Information Service of the Irish Cancer Society is dedicated to providing high quality, expertly developed information about cancer. You can find cancer information on or speak to a specialist cancer nurse on our Cancer Nurseline freephone 1800 200 700.

The Cancer Nurseline is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. You can also email us on You can also visit our Daffodil Centres, located in thirteen hospitals nationwide. The centres are staffed by cancer nurses and trained volunteers who provide confidential advice, support and information to anyone affected by cancer. 

Please remember views expressed in this community are purely the views of the members and as such don't constitute professional recommendations or advice or the opinions of the Irish Cancer Society.

We have the right to update and change our Community guidelines and Terms and Conditions at any time.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, or anything on the site at all, drop us an email at and we’ll do all we can to help.

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Irish Cancer Society Head office, 43/45 Northumberland Road Dublin, D04 VX65; Charity Regulatory Authority No. 20009502; Revenue Number CHY5863; Company Number 20868.