We’re looking at 7 mistakes cancer survivors make when choosing and implementing measures that reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. In part 1 we looked at how much to rely on drugs as preventive therapy. Now let’s look at another mistake:
Mistake #6: Believing everything you read on the internet
A complaint I’m seeing more and more in my practice is “late-night internet search exhaustion”. It afflicts conscientious cancer survivors doing their best to find solutions to chronic health issues, who run into confusing or contradictory information on the internet and exhaust themselves trying to determine what to believe. 😯
The internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it puts vast stores of health information at our fingertips. We have access to published science and the writings of experts like never before. On the other hand, it’s often difficult to determine the validity of what we read. With anyone able to publish, convincing copywriters (with or without valid credentials) can lend an air of authority to health information for which there’s minimal evidence…or that’s downright dangerous.
Some tips for wise use of the internet for health-related information:
- Question the source: who’s making the claim? What are her credentials? Is this the only piece the author has written on this topic, or has she been studying and writing about it for some time?
- Look for supporting evidence: what sources does the writer use to back up her information? Is the supporting evidence broad, or sparse? Is it recent, or might it be outdated? Do other experts agree or differ with the claim?
- Even when something looks valid, question whether it’s appropriate for YOU: you may find a supplement that looks intriguing, but there may be other supplements that would be a lot more helpful for your particular circumstances. One of the most helpful services I provide is helping you allocate your healthcare budget to items that are well-supported by research or clinical evidence, and that are likely to have the greatest positive impact on your wellbeing.
Leave me a comment below:
- How often do you search the internet for information on cancer prevention?
- What do you find helpful or frustrating about the using the internet?
- Has the internet ever steered you wrong regarding health information? How did you figure it out?
Copyright 2014 Shani Fox, ND, LLC