Sarah Cannon - January 21, 2015

When you receive a cancer diagnosis, itÕs only natural to want to find out as much as possible about the disease, your treatment options and what your cancer journey might look like. But while your care team should be your first source of knowledge, you may also find yourself turning to the Internet for more information.

How to Find Reliable Cancer Information Online

Unfortunately, not everything on the Web is accurate or reliable, and some sites are so inaccurate that they can be downright dangerous. For help in separating fact from fiction and good information from mis information, the National Cancer InstituteÕs ÒEvaluating Online Sources of Health InformationÓ page has some excellent questions to ask.

  1. Who is publishing the information, and who paid or sponsored it? (Tip: Check the ÒAbout UsÓ or DisclaimersÓ section.)
  2. Is the original source (research study or medical journal) identified?
  3. Who reviewed the information before it was posted? (Tip: Check for credentials such as MD, DO or PhD.)
  4. How current is the information, and when was it last reviewed?

Six Cancer Information Sites You Can Trust:

Aside from sarahcannon.com , here are six sites that you can rely on with confidence to give you the medical information to help you through your diagnosis and treatment.

  1. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Ñ http://www.cancer.gov/

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, NCI is the Federal GovernmentÕs principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI also coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. Its Cancer Topics page provides information covering a broad range of cancer types, treatment and clinical trials and genetics services.

2. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Ñ http://www.nccn.org

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network¨ (NCCN¨) is a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the worldÕs leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research and education and dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. World-renowned experts from NCCN Member Institutions diagnose and treat patients with a broad spectrum of cancers and are recognized for dealing with complex, aggressive or rare cancers, while its Member Institutions pioneered the concept of the multidisciplinary team approach to patient care and conduct innovative research that contributes significantly to understanding, diagnosing and treating cancer.

3. Medline Plus Ñ http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cancer.html

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of HealthÕs website for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it provides reliable, up-to-date health information about diseases, conditions and wellness issues in easy-to-understand language, anytime, anywhere, for free.

4. American Cancer Society Ñ http://www.cancer.org/index

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. In addition to free information, programs, services and community referrals, the American Cancer Society funds groundbreaking research to help understand cancerÕs causes, determine how best to prevent it and discover new ways to cure it.

5. Clinical Trials.Gov Ñ https://clinicaltrials.gov/

A service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. The ÒFor Patients and FamiliesÓ section provides current information about clinical research studies to patients, their families, their friends and caregivers, and the public. Each study record includes a summary of the study protocol, including the purpose, recruitment status and eligibility criteria. Study locations and specific contact information are listed to assist with enrollment, with the How to Read a Study Record article explaining what information is found in a study record.

6. myPearlPoint Ð my.pearlpoint.org

PearlPoint Cancer Support is a nonprofit public charity committed to improving the lives of adults impacted by cancer, as well as promoting cancer awareness, education and access to clinical research. They provide free personalized information and guidance to any adult impacted by cancer including a mobile app for managing side effects during treatment, practical, educational articles and videos about cancer, information about clinical trials, an easy-to-use clinical trial locator, cancer-specific nutrition guidance and tips for side effects management, resources for practical, financial, and emotional questions and tools to track personalized information.

Sources:

Patient Advocate Foundation Ñ How to Find Reliable Health Information on the Internet

National Cancer Institute Ñ Evaluating Online Sources of Health Information