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No one would like to think someone would try to dishonestly profit from a disease like breast cancer. However, there are possible scams being showcased on "innocent appearing" breast cancer Web sites. Finding breast cancer information Web sites might lead you to read about a new breast cancer medication or treatment at a Web site that claims to sell it, for example. Be wary of what you find, just because something is on the Internet does not always mean it is true. Before purchasing any product or new treatment method, talk to your doctor about it, and discover if it is actually a viable treatment option. Your doctor will be able to prescribe it for you or tell you where to get it safely.
It is possible to learn a great deal from breast cancer Web sites, and the information can give you a better understanding of the terms and subject matter you might hear in the news or from your doctor. However, online breast cancer information is never meant to take the place of a doctor's advice. It is wise to collect information from a variety of resources when making a decision about screening or treatment for breast cancer, but your doctor can provide the best information because he or she has examined you. There are a number of factors that differ among women, and these factors can affect screening and treatment recommendations. Ultimately, if you are not comfortable with your doctor's diagnosis or recommendations, it is suggested that you obtain a second opinion, but the Internet should not replace the knowledge of and interaction with a medical professional.
There is a wealth of information located on the Internet, and information about breast cancer is no exception. Finding the most informative Web sites about breast cancer involves doing a thorough Internet search. You might be searching for ways to become involved in the fight against breast cancer, and a website like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, www.komen.org, would be a great place to start. When looking for breast cancer websites, keep in mind the quality of information on the Web site. Web sites of non-profit organizations might not have the most updated information on breast cancer. Instead searching for a Web sites of sponsoring research organizations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., www.nationalbreastcancer.org, or the National Cancer Institute, www.nci.nih.gov will have more updated statistics. These websites also contain a "search" feature alowing you to find the exact information you are looking for, as well as links to other Web sites the organizations consider reputable.
Any search engine, like Google or Yahoo, is always a good place for finding breast cancer Web sites. Looking for Web sites on the particular aspect of breast cancer that interests you is easy. Another good source as well is the news feature you probably have as part of your Web server's home page. The latest breast cancer news is often featured under the health category, and such articles are usually reader-friendly versions of the actual scientific studies in question.
You can also start your search on a respectable health Web site like the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While these are not strictly breast cancer Web sites, these sites are great starting points for general information and the basis for finding other reliable information about breast cancer online.
The Web is a great place to find information on breast cancer, but sifting out reliable information from unreliable information takes time and patience. Posted information is only as reliable as the entity posting it, should be your main rule when conducting research on the Internet. Assume that for every reputable breast cancer website, there are probably dozens that are not reliable. Finding breast cancer Web sites may be easy but differentiating between fact and opinion may not be as discerning. On this particular note, beware of personal breast cancer Web sites, which offer a "magic cure". While such sites might have some value when looking at different treatment methods, these sites often relate vastly skewed information about breast cancer itself, related by people who do not understand the condition you are facing. The best advice is to think carefully about the information being presented.
If you are trying to find breast cancer Web sites and having difficulties, it is recommended that you visit the Web sites of national and governmental organizations. These websites are primary places to find factual, up-to-date, and non-biased information on breast cancer. However, it is important to always check when the information you are reading was last updated. There is always new research being published in this field, and information from years ago may no longer apply. When finding a breast cancer site, be careful of information posted by someone who might have a hidden agenda. Sometimes people will start their own breast cancer Web site to report a new discovery, but much of the information reported might be skewed by personal opinion or are trying to get you to purchase a product. In general, stick to well known, unbiased sources that cross-reference their facts, and always compare what you read about breast cancer online with other Web sites and the advice of your own doctor.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|