A summary of educational content on three Breast cancer websites

Essay by Jasminetea September 2004

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A Review of Breast Cancer Websites for Consumers

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women comprising 32% of all cancer diagnosis. The incidence of breast cancer has been slowly increasing. Women have a 1 in 7 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (American Cancer Society, 2004). On the positive side, advances in research have affected survival rates; women with breast cancer are living longer and dealing with the aftermath of their treatments. Many women are using the internet for educational information, support groups, and treatment choices. With this in mind, three Breast cancer sites were reviewed for content and a discussion of the possible impact on the information to health care providers follows the analysis.

Y- Me National Breast Cancer Organization (http://www.y-me.org) provides online material in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese. Content includes prevention, diagnosis methods, and interpretation of terminology on pathology reports, treatment options, and symptom management.

An added feature is the 800 number; one speaks with a breast cancer survivor who is a trained peer counselor or e-mail their questions for a response. No medical advice is given during this interaction. The Resource page provides multimedia education on any topic concerning breast cancer. This is actually a link to Healthology Incorporated that distributes health education material authored by physicians. However, this feature is only available in English. Additionally, the consumer can register to attend teleconferences on specific topics presented by a health care professional. The site provides numerous links to several cancer sites; government, university sponsored, nonprofit organizations, and independent websites. Four sites were found to comply with the HON (Health on the Net Foundation) code of ethics one is named Cancerpage.com which is the second site evaluated.

Cancerpage.com (http://www.cancerpage.com) offers material on all types of cancer. Just like the Y-Me website, consumers...