Finding Trustworthy Cancer Information Online

If you don’t know the answer to a question, what do you do?  You can search the Internet to find information about cancer, but even on reliable websites, statistics and medical data can be confusing.  Filter information through your doctor to clarify concerns and get answers about your treatment.

The National Cancer Institute suggests “Questions You Should Ask” when evaluating online sources of health information.

  1. Who manages this information?
    The person or group that has published health information online should be identified somewhere.
  2. Who is paying for the project, and what is their purpose?
    You should be able to find this in the “About Us” section.
  3. What is the original source of the information that they have posted?
    If the information was originally published in a research journal or a book, they should say which so that you can find it.
  4. How is information reviewed before it get posted?
    Most health information publications have someone with medical or research credentials (e.g., someone who has earned an MD, DO, or PhD) review the information before it gets posted, to make sure it is correct.
  5. How current is the information?
    Online health information sources should show you when the information was posted or last reviewed.
  6. If they are asking for personal information, how will they use that information and how will they protect your privacy?
    This is very important. Do not share personal information until you understand the policies under which it will be used and you are comfortable with any risk involved in sharing your information online.

If you think you have been misinformed by websites that claim to treat or cure cancer, you can file a complaint with either the Federal Trade Commission or the Food and Drug Administration.

Have you been misled by a website?  Share your experience with us and help others avoid bogus websites.

Where to Get More Help

U-M Cancer AnswerLine – 1-800-865-1125

Food and Drug Administration:
187 Fake Cancer “Cures” Consumers Should Avoid 
Protecting Yourself

Federal Trade Commission:

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Health Awareness and Cancer Prevention for Men

On June 17, father figures will be celebrated and thanked for all they do.  June is also the month designated to raise Men’s Cancer/Health Awareness and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Since it was passed by Congress in 1994, National Men’s Health Week.  It is observed every year during the week of June that ends on Father’s Day.   Besides raising men’s health awareness during June, this month also aims to encourage men to schedule regular health check-ups and seek early treatment for disease and injury.

The cancers that most frequently affect men are prostate, colon, lung, and skin cancers.  Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented or found early can save your life.

The American Cancer Society suggests these actions to take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Do you want to raise Men’s Health Awareness? Designate a “Wear Blue Day” to help spread the knowledge of Men’s Health Month.  Choose any day that works for your group.  Choose blue accessories, head-to-toe blue work attire, or blue prostate cancer pins to wear in support of the fight against prostate cancer.

Throughout the year, the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Community Outreach Program provides a “Men’s Fellowship Breakfast” and cancer screenings. Check periodically at the Community Outreach Event website to see when the next breakfast or free screening event is scheduled.  If you would like to talk with someone about cancer prevention, please call the Cancer AnswerLine™ at 800-865-1125 and one of our cancer nurses will help.

Continue learning about men’s cancers and prevention:

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The Bottom Line: Stool Testing for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Stool, BM, feces, poop or number No. 2. There are lots of different names for something everybody does – but no one likes to talk about.

When it comes to screening for colorectal cancer, there’s no avoiding the conversation. But did you know there are take home kits available to screen your bowel movements for colorectal cancer?  Provided by your doctor and completed in the privacy of our own home, these tests are quick, simple, inexpensive and typically recommended to be done once a year after age 50.

Because it’s an uncomfortable topic, some people are embarrassed to ask the doctor about the test, or are hesitant because they are unsure what the test will be like. Others feel uncomfortable asking how to collect the stool specimen, or are squeamish about the process. Continue reading