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CancerLynx - we prowl the net
November 19, 2001

Cancer List Guidelines and Tips
Alexandra Andrews and Wendy Sheridan

Getting Started
Guidelines and Netiquette

Editing messages

Accessing the archives for the first time
Tips on Using the Archives

Subscription options Privacy

A cancer diagnosis creates a critical crossroad in life. The knowledge that you are not alone can help relieve some of the fear and anxiety the diagnosis can bring. E-mail lists are a wonderful way to make contact with others on a similar journey, to exchange information, provide support and much more. These guidelines and tips will give you an idea of what a virtual community expects of its members, and help you make efficient use of the tools associated with ACOR's listserve.

ACOR hosts over 100 cancer email groups that can be viewed here: Directions for using the archives and subscription options can be followed for any ACOR list. Guidelines may differ from list to list.

The goal of any ACOR list is the sharing of information, support and first hand experiences regarding cancer's treatments, drugs, side effects and the impact it has on our lives. Feel free to ask any questions.

The information shared on the lists is not intended to replace medical advice. If you have symptoms or need medical advice, see your medical professional.

Getting Started
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Basics - There are several types of lists on ACOR:

Guidelines and Netiquette
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The goal of any ACOR list is the sharing of information, support and first hand experiences regarding cancer's treatments, drugs, side effects and the impact it has on our lives. Feel free to ask any questions.

Here are two helpful articles in getting started:

When writing for the first time, please tell us about yourself; it may be helpful to mention age, any details you wish to share about past or current treatments, and place of residence/treatment.

Some feel more comfortable reading the posts for a while before joining in, and you may want to browse the archives to acquaint yourself with the group. This is best done by starting with the most recent messages and working backwards. The Internet is international. Out of respect for the wide range of beliefs and opinions in the world, religion and politics are not appropriate topics for a cancer list.

There is a Christian cancer forum also hosted by ACOR,
Cancer Patients Christian Online Support Group at:
and Jewish Parents Network:
a more general list,

Please do not send message that consists solely of a URL; it is helpful to provide a summary. Especially do not send URLS that require list members giving personal information to another website. Read Warning - Sharks and Web Sites - Caution Advised

To ensure privacy and safety, please do not post private addresses or phone numbers to the list. Do not post the phone numbers or e-mail addresses of physicians. Posting the phone numbers and addresses of institutions is fine.

If you are sending a congratulatory or sympathetic message to one person, do not automatically post your reply to the whole list. Chit-chat is best done off the list. Please keep the topic in mind when posting the whole list.

No insulting or annoying messages.

Forwarding copyrighted material to the list is illegal; we ask that you send the link with an excerpt or summary rather than the whole article, which is a breach of copyright laws.

If you are a researcher who wishes to recruit members willing to provide information, please get permission from the list owners. List mining, for addresses and/or spamming members privately is strictly forbidden and will result in being served off of all ACOR lists.

Advertising, or commercial postings are not allowed and could lead to the removal of your subscription. This is defined as: "To proclaim the qualities or advantages of a product or business so as to increase sales." Sending web sites that proclaim undocumented and unscientific evidence of cures for the same purpose, advertising, are included in this ban.

Editing messages
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When replying to a message it's important to edit the previous message to include only the most relevant parts. This saves bandwidth and downloading time. Also, copies of previous messages in one post make reading the mail cumbersome, especially for the digest subscribers. To edit a message, include only the parts of the previous message that you are answering. Deleting the superfluous parts can do this. Another option is to highlight the most relevant parts of the message, then cut and paste those into a new e-mail. Address it to the list and put a suitable subject on the message.

Please note the subject line and adjust it as the topic being discussed evolves or changes.

Please write your answer on the top part of the body of the e-mail, above the post you're replying to.

For the sake of people using the digest mode, which is a daily compilation of posts in one long message, we also suggest that you use the plain text option of your e-mail program and not MIME (the default for many email programs) when posting the list.

Accessing the archives for the first time
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You will find the ACOR list archive pages online at Click on the group you need. When you reach the 'archives and subscription options' page for that group, bookmark it. Here you will find links to various options plus a monthly log of all messages under 'browse the archives'. Before being able to read the archives for the first time-

You must be a member

You will need to get a password and You also have to register, but just once.

Click on a month to browse the archives, which will bring you to a Login Required page. Click on the words, get a new LISTSERV password first, which is a link that turns red when the mouse runs over it (the e-mail address you give must be the exact address with which you subscribed) and select a password that's easy to remember.

If you request the server to save your login settings in a "cookie", you won't have to type your e-mail address and password to look at the archive on future visits. This option should present itself without any effort on your part.

In summary:
* Sign in with your e-mail address
* Give yourself a password you can remember
* Check the box that says remember my password
* Accept the cookie the site wants to put on your computer
* Go to your e-mail inbox and find the confirmation email which is sent automatically after you sign in for the first time
* Click on the URL contained in the e-mail (or paste it into your browser window) and your password will be confirmed You are now able to use your list's archives and subscription options.
* Contact your list owner about how to avoid signing on and off the list, or try using the 'mail disabled temporarily-no mail' mode described below. If you sign off the list and re-join, you'll need to get a new password before again having access.

Tips on Using the Archives
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The Browse Mode option featured on the main page allows you to view all messages from the list for a given month. Once you get the list of subject titles you can have it arranged in different ways by using the buttons at the top of the page, i.e.: chronologically, by author, by thread, etc. When you open a message more buttons will appear at the top of the page that help to make browsing easier. There's a button for replying via a web interface page. In this way it is possible to post to the list without using e-mail. This interactive page is accessible from the main archive page as well ("Post to the List").

The Search Option page is accessible by each list's main archives page ("Search the Archives"), or you can use the search button found at the top of each opened message while browsing. When searching for specific information the search option may be quicker. There is a link to a help page at the bottom of the search form - spend a minute to check it out before searching. When giving a date in the "since" and "until" fields on the form, there are certain requirements about how to give the date. Dates should be written like this: 2 April 2000 (day, month year, no commas).

When using the search for recent messages, use the "until" field.

Subscription options
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The subscription options available to you can be viewed by clicking on the link: Join or leave the list (or change settings), which is found on the main archive page of a list. The link will bring you to an interactive area; choose the option: Alternatively, you can login with your LISTSERV password (if you have one) and update your subscription interactively.

After signing in with your e-mail address and password, you will have access to your account and may individualize your subscription options. The form contains the following options:

Note on some closed lists the owner must make these changes for you

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Yours - The copyrights of all posts belong to the sender and are protected by copyright laws. It is forbidden for others to forward or otherwise distribute your message without permission. Anything written to the list can be found in the archives (the data base of posts made to the list). All list members may access the archives of the group to which they belong.

If you receive unwanted messages from someone who has taken your e-mail address from the list, please notify the list owner immediately. Spamming is strictly forbidden and illegal. E-mail addresses are visible when you post to the list. Doing so implies an agreement to be contacted privately by other members.

Privacy of fellow members - Forwarding messages from the group to third parties is an invasion of privacy. Always ask permission before forwarding a message; you'll find that most people are happy to help and share. Respecting each other in this way enhances the atmosphere of trust and camaraderie.

ACOR lists do not allow anonymous memberships. For more info on ACOR's privacy policies see this page:

Your privacy is protected by the community trust of the list. Please respect the rights of those who publicly share their experiences for our benefit.

You are welcome to share this © article with friends, but do not forget to include the author name and web address. Permission needed to use articles on commercial and non commercial websites. Thank you.

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