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NCCN Conference Offers a Peek Into Internet Medicine's Future
Date:3/6/2008

f printouts three inches thick. Even doctors are overwhelmed by information they can't use." But he acknowledged that cancer patients want to find, for example, articles in medical journals published in the last six months -- and expect to discuss them with their doctors.

The Internet's empowerment of consumers outweighs its potential to complicate doctor visits, Al B. Benson III, M.D., of Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center said during the roundtable discussion titled "e-Health -- Educating, Enlightening or Exasperating the American Patient with Cancer?" Benson, also chairman of the NCCN board, added, "Twenty years ago people didn't talk about cancer, let alone watch a colonoscopy on TV."

Veteran ABC journalist Sam Donaldson, moderator, pressed an official from Health and Human Services about the low visibility of federal government websites that contain high-quality information. "How do you get people to your site?" he asked Rear Admiral Penelope Slade Royall, HHS deputy assistant secretary responsible for healthfinder.gov. Royall explained that government sites devoted to cancer don't accept advertising and thus lack marketing budgets. Royall also urged commercial Internet health sites to use plain English to help guide the 88 percent of Americans lacking health literacy skills.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 21 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creat
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SOURCE National Comprehensive Cancer Network
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