> The web is confusion on breast cancer

The researchers, from the pages of the journal Cancer, advise patients to consult a doctor first before taking decisions according to the sun news collected on the internet. Using five search engines, among the più used, Google, Yahoo directory, Alta vista, Overture, and Alltheweb, two researchers from the università of Texas Funda Meric-Bernstam of the Anderson Cancer Center and Elmer Bernstam School of Health Information Sciences, have evaluated the usefulness; see the network to get information of qualityà on breast cancer.

In all, they evaluated 343 web pages according to 15 criteria of qualityà, including: the credentials of the doctors and authors, the time of the creation of the site or the most recent revision of the data. Have checked, also, if the information to comply with the guidelines on breast cancer, including those of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The result were 41 false documents or inaccurate on 18 web pages (5.2 percent). Web pages with information on alternative medicines or complementary showed a probability; 15 times higher than contain data that is inaccurate compared to the others.

No policy on the characteristics of the site, such as the type of link, the domain, or the search engine is a result predictive of the qualityà of the information. For the authors, even if most of the information online is accurate, the criteria commonly used are not enough to ensure a secure information.

“we Need to encourage patients – warn researchers – to maintain a healthy level of skepticism about information about health, keeping in mind the source of the data and to consult a doctor first before taking any decision”.

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Page published on February 12, 2008