Evaluating Internet Sites
For better and for worse, it is easy to research virtually anything on the internet. Many women with breast cancer spend hours pouring over all kinds of sites, learning both helpful information and scary, sometimes incorrect, stories. Others purposefully read nothing other than what their medical providers suggest. You know best how much and what kind of information is helpful to you. If, however, you are surfing the net, it is helpful to think a bit about the value and validity of the sites you are reading.
This is a fact sheet from the NCI about how to evaluate health sites and information. This is a summary and then the link to read more:
? Any Web site should make it easy for people to learn who is responsible for the site and its information (see Question 1).
? If the person or organization in charge of the Web site did not write the material, the original source should be clearly identified (see Question 4).
? Health-related Web sites should give information about the medical credentials of the people who prepare or review the material on the site (see Question 6).
? Any Web site that asks users for personal information should explain exactly what the site will and will not do with that information (see Question 9).
? Any e-mail messages should be carefully evaluated. The origin of the message and its purpose should be considered (see Question 11).
? The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration are Government agencies that help protect consumers from false or misleading health claims on the Internet