Every cancer patient and caregiver goes through one of the most challenging issues when facing cancer and that is the overwhelming information available to us. There are thousands of articles, studies, forums etc. about cancer, what causes cancer, how to cure cancer, what to eat, how to recover and more available to us. Information is great and there is no lack of it. Enriching your knowledge is even better and must be done, but there is one major problem.
Information sources do not segregate the bad from the good, the evidential research studies that are proven to work as opposed to those that are invalidated or unregulated. In fact many proven regulated research studies are sometimes further questioned to influence other motives. So where do we go and what do we do? Our recommendations are the following:
- Classified Medical Information Source – such as a cancer institute or health organisation. These include, MD Anderson https://www.mdanderson.org/ / American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/ / Society for Integrative Oncology https://integrativeonc.org/ Futurity (research news from top universities) http://www.futurity.org/
- Reputed Doctors, Healthcare Practitioners and Professionals – This could include your own doctor or anyone who has been regarded as a pioneer in the field and has done substantial amount of work in the area. Always seek advice and information about a particular topic from professionals of that specific field. Therefore if it is nutrition that you are searching for, then focus on meeting or extracting relevant information from a nutritionist who is oncology train and refrain from gaining all your knowledge about nutrition from an oncologist instead. Unless otherwise advised. Same goes for other areas of research, such as exercise and movement information from a movement therapist oncology trained or stress management from cancer counsellors and trained cancer psychologists.
- Cancer Community Networks – This is a segment that you need to be careful with because it provides information from all sources, scientific, evidence based, alternative so on and so forth. Having said that it is great way to gain knowledge about what has worked for others. How various therapies might be useful for you and connect with patients and survivors who have had the same diagnosis and prognosis of yours. Any information that is retrieved from here must also be validated by your doctor and other research studies from credible sources. These include influencers, bloggers and communities – such as the Cancer Support Community http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/ / Chris Beat Cancer Blog http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/