Having said that, people with cancer can often gain valuable information and support via the Internet. "The Internet can be a tool that can give people access to good, scientifically verified information," said Dr. Schapira. "It can help patients better prepare for an expert consultation. And after such consultation, they can check the wisdom of the advice they got. "
She suggests relying on Internet resources that have no commercial interest. Even sites posted by medical institutions can be self-promotional. In addition to the website www.cancer.net, prepared by members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Schapira has recommended information provided by the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) and the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.org). www.cancer.government), as well as the free arm of a website called UpToDate, which translates in simple terms the best information available to physicians.
The Cancer Institute notes that the three letters associated with the domain name of a site allow users to better understand the independence and validity of the information it contains; It is better to choose .edu or .gov over .com.
In addition to providing valuable information and advice to trusted sources, the Internet can help patients obtain psychosocial support through online groups. Danielle Gentile, of the Atrium Health Institute of Charlotte, North Carolina, and her coauthors, analyzed 170 patient studies using information technologies. Social media communities can be very helpful for cancer patients, especially those with personal social support. Cancer patients can converse with others, anonymously, about emotional and spiritual issues and get helpful tips on treating treatment-related issues.
But while some online communities "are organized by health professionals, others may be published by people who have no scientific knowledge," warned Dr. Schapira. The information collected by patients in these lay communities is better discussed with their doctors, lest they be led in the wrong direction.
and intellectually ready to process the information that they discover.
"It may be better to let others know," she said. "Different people need different information at different times. Some people are not ready to absorb all the information from the start, which is quite normal. Some want to receive the information but leave the experts to the decisions, while others want to be able to participate in the decision making. "
Do not be afraid to discuss alternatives with doctors treating your cancer, and be sure to talk to them about the remedies you plan to try in case they might The oncology doctors of today know very well how much the mind can affect the well-being of the body, "said Dr. Schapira.