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Cancer patients turning to Internet for information

Many cancer patients, according to a recent study, are increasingly turning to the Internet for information about their disease. In this context physicians need to be aware of various Internet medical sites so they can guide the patients to the most reliable, accurate and updated information. Dr. James M.Metz of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center in Philadelphia echoed these ideas at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Nearly 25% of Dr.Metz's patients said they are accessing information from Internet health sites. Slightly more than 20% of the patients said they used it to find cancer relative information. In the related study, investigators found that patients are not the only ones ousing the Internet. In many cases, their companions are also performing Web searches to obtain cancer-related information.

Dr. Sofia Yakren of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and her colleagues surveyed more than 400 cancer patients and their companions and found that almost 45% of the patients and 60% of the companions reported Internet use. Most users said they searched the Internet for information about treatment and diagnosis. Many others said they searched for physicians or hospitals.

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