RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET:
WHAT THEY ARE & WHAT THEY DO: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
The Internet has given patients more resources than at any time in history. Just be sure you read Protect Your Privacy & Your Health and How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet (in this section) before you jump in.
There are basically four types of Web sites where you can get information on prostate cancer:
Phoenix5 has links to what we feel are the more responsible Web sites.
- Commercial : They are devoted to a particular product or service, so keep in mind they are trying to sell it to you.
- Medical : Some clinics, hospitals (including university), and private practices have good information but they too want you to use their service. Some have message boards and require registration.
- Professional or organizational : From the National Cancer Institute to the American Cancer Society, they are generally less biased with their information.
- Private : Usually patient-sponsored and run, these give the "consumer" view of treatments and are among the best and the worst because they answer to no one.
This is how you search millions of Web sites in a second. You do it by entering a key word and then adding words to narrow the search. You can find almost anything you want on the Web. Just remember that anyone can create a Web page and seem to be an expert. See How To Evaluate Health Information on the Internet.
Everyone has their favorite but the award-winner and the one the pros use is still Google (www.google.com).
There are write-ups at Phoenix5 on what search engines do and don't do and how to use one like a pro. Go to the SEARCH page.
My personal favorite, a mailing list is where you can send an email to an address and it will be received by all who subscribe to the list. In turn, you will get all mail sent to the list.
Some lists are devoted to a very narrow topic, like radiation or cryosurgery. Others are quite general. Volume of messages vary widely, from a few a week to maybe scores in a day.
The lists are where the most knowledgeable patients hang out but also idiots. See How to Protect Your Privacy & Your Health.
Phoenix5 has a section about mailing lists and how they work.
Newsgroups are open forums where one can read, send and reply to messages. At last count, there were around 80,000, with two devoted to prostate cancer:
Access can be difficult and may re-quire a subscription service. But it can be done easily and for free at Google. To help, I have provided links. Just click on the one you want below.
You will need an e-mail account to register to post (send a message) or reply.
But before you do, know that every message in a newsgroup will be kept forever and can be found by anyone with a (see) search engine.
My least favorite, a message board is where you can read, send and reply to a message. They are at Web sites, usually run by a large hospital or organization and may require some form of registration.
A problem is that message boards often have a very low volume so your query may go unanswered. The boards are sometimes monitored by a staff member to weed out the most dangerous advice but (at the same time) the qualifications or prejudices of the person doing it are not known.
|This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <http://www.phoenix5.org>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <www.phoenix5.org/infopolicy>.