Skip to main content

These results were recently published in the journal Cancer.

The Internet provides a wealth of information on all aspects of health-related issues. A majority of patients now report that they seek health information on the Internet. Online information, however, is not strictly regulated, which has made some healthcare providers skeptical of the Internet as a source for healthcare information. Reviewers continue to assess the accuracy of online healthcare information.

Researchers from Texas recently conducted a clinical study to evaluate the accuracy of information about breast cancer on the Internet. This study included 343 unique Web pages found from breast cancer-related queries entered on five search engines. Researchers also attempted to establish criteria to help identify inaccurate information on these pages.

  • Inaccurate statements were made on 18 Web pages, which amounted to 5.2% of Web pages reviewed.
  • Inaccurate statements were significantly more likely to be found on Web pages that also presented information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
  • There were no other identified criteria associated with inaccurate statements.

Recommended Articles

shutterstock_1978844156

The Long View-Coping with Chronic Cancer

As treatments improve cancer patients are living well with cancer for the long term

Image placeholder title

Lessons from the Chemo Room

The chemo room was a place where people came together and shared their stories.

Image placeholder title

New Year is Coming Here is 10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk!

10 Habits you can change to reduce your risk of getting cancer.

The researchers concluded: “Most breast cancer information that consumers are likely to encounter online is accurate.” The authors also noted: “Webpages that contain information about CAM are relatively likely to contain inaccurate statements.”

Patients with breast cancer are encouraged to always seek expert advice directly from their healthcare providers.

Reference: Vernstam E, Walji M, Sagaram S, et al. Commonly cited website quality criteria are not effective at identifying inaccurate online information about breast cancer. Cancer [early online publication]. February 11, 2008. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.23308.