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Let's Discuss...Information on the Internet

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Information on the Internet: does it reassure or cause worry? 

The Internet is a simple and fast tool to search for information. How easy is it to separate fact from fiction? Do you prefer to know as much or as little as possible? Does the information that you find reassure you or cause you more worry?


One evening when my husband was out at badminton and I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer, I went online for information and also to see what a mastectomy looked like. Holy Hannah, what a mistake. My poor husband came home to find my crying like no other. His comment was, " oh Sweetie, most of what you see are only the bad ones, ones that have not gone well. The good ones are rarely posted." He was right. I scared myself with information and made a promise to him to stay off "Dr. Google" and if I had questions then he would do the research along with a dear friend who is a nurse. My oncologist was able to advise me on "safe sites" as well. I wasn't hiding my head in the sand so to speak but I didn't want to terrify myself with bad information, I have a life to live and needed to make it as stress free as possible.
  • Posted Wed 19 Apr 2017 05:41 PM EDT
I completely agree with what everyone is saying. I personally feel Dr. Google in general is a mortician. Type in your symptoms for a sore toe and whoa you have cancer! Really can be scary for people worried that they have cancer causing lots of unnecessary anxiety. However there are reputable sites out there that can be very helpful in understanding a condition. The stats provided though, even on good sites, must be taken in context as well and a grain of salt I personally believe. This is information from usually at 5 or 10 years ago. Look at the advances made in treatment each year. Those statistics don't necessarily apply. If Mick and I listened to those stats he would have been dead 2 years ago.
  • Posted Sun 05 Feb 2017 05:39 PM EST
I have searched the Internet about my condition, there is very little out there on clear cell endrometrial cancer, all have found out through the Internet is that it is rare and aggressive. a few case studies done but were inconclusive.  I would like more information but it seems it does not exist, I am a person that needs to know and does not shy away from the truth. In my case the internet has not been all that helpful. I did check the reputable sites only. 
  • Posted Sun 05 Feb 2017 01:51 PM EST
It is important to remember I think that the nature of the internet is that anyone can post anything they want (within reason), they do not have to have any expertise or credentials just an opinion. Opinions can also be backed up by comments and reviews, that favour the speakers opinion, ignoring the negative comments. Whenever I come across something that interests me, I research it. If I cannot find any mention on a credible site, then I search for scientific research, or credentials of the individual posting it.. If I find nothing,I disregard it.
  • Posted Fri 20 Jan 2017 04:21 PM EST
Great point Addie!
  • Posted Fri 20 Jan 2017 05:59 PM EST
This is an awesome topic.

Of all the women I know who've had breast cancer (including me), all of them started using the Internet to get information and then managed to scare themselves with what they saw. All of them (including me) stopped using the Internet until their treatments done or the results of their indicated that they didn't have cancer.

For the longest time after my treatments were done, I was still scared about what information I might stumble across that I might not want to know. I found all kinds of great information that I wish I had seen when I was on my cancer journey, but there was still information that I wasn't ready to see. Now, the fear aspect of going on the Internet and doing a search on cancer does not strike the same fear that it used to. In fact, now I have my own website and, in an attempt to minimize how overwhelming and scary the Internet can be, I've provided a small list of good sites. Most of them, as you all have said, are the "credible" sites.
  • Posted Fri 20 Jan 2017 01:23 AM EST
Great points here...It's a balancing act. There is often some info that would benefit you...and some that you may not want to read.

Credible sources are so so important thanks for mentioning that!

  • Posted Fri 20 Jan 2017 06:02 PM EST

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