The Internet has become a tremendous resource for women with breast cancer. There is an undeniable convenience to having instant access to information on almost any topic including treatment options and research, as well as variety of online breast cancer support networks. But you should know that not all breast cancer information on the Internet is on the level. And it can be extremely challenging to differentiate between good information and falsehoods or partial truths.
Though there is no shortage of accurate, truthful breast cancer information available online, there is also a lot of opinion, salesmanship, and testimonial material that may not be entirely trustworthy. And this is concerning since patients often use this information to make decisions about their illness and course of breast cancer treatment. Additionally, even accurate information can sometimes become overwhelming and cause additional anxiety for breast cancer patients and their families without a healthcare provider to help put this info into the proper context.
We have invited some of our Pink Ribbon Story Foundation breast cancer ambassadors to share their first-hand experience of sifting through breast cancer information online:
“I think internet research on breast cancer can be very confusing.” – PRSF Breast Cancer Ambassador Deannie E.
“I think internet research can be very confusing. I think people have to remember that everything that’s written isn’t necessarily true. There’s so much contamination of untrue information that I think having reputable places where you can go is probably a good thing, but even they don’t answer all the specific questions that I had.”
“I looked at community forums and blogs. I didn’t really find what I was looking for. It all seemed very alarming.” – PRSF Breast Cancer Ambassador Hayley A.
“I wasn’t really that worried about it until I started looking on the Internet about retracting nipples. And I looked at community forums and blogs, but I didn’t really find what I was looking for. Everything seemed very alarming and I wasn’t really sure how I could relate to these people with what my diagnosis was in comparison to theirs.”
We’re not advising that you avoid the Internet entirely when it comes to information about your condition. The Internet can still be an incredible tool to have at your disposal during your breast cancer journey. We’re just recommending that you be careful and try to stick to trusted, reputable sites and sources and then discuss your findings with your medical team before overreacting or making any hasty decisions. For more information or to share your breast cancer story with the world, please contact Pink Ribbon Story Foundation today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more information, tips, and updates.