A new resource has been given to us! But we must use it wisely to benefit. The world wide web contains the information cancer patients need to successfully fight this hideous disease. But how do we find the specific information we need that will truly help conquer cancer? Much of the information on the web is bogus. Much is hype. Much is far too technical to benefit most of us. Some is obsolete. How do we separate the wheat from the chaff?
One search engine shows there are over 2,000,000 sites dealing with “cancer”. If you only spent 2 minutes getting to and reading each of these sites for 8 hours a day, 365 days per year; it would take you nearly 23 years to access all the currently existing sites dealing with cancer. Think of what would have changed in that period of time.
But the facts are there that we need. Popularity of a site should not be the controlling factor. Because it receives a lot of “hits” does not mean that it is totally honest and accurate. Nor the fact that the name of the sponsor is well respected mean the information provided is the gospel. Some organizations are so worried about stepping on toes and hurting organizations that they will openly frown on supplemental therapies that could help and can not hurt.
Some sites are so verbose and complex that they are impossible to comprehend. The theory that if a little is good, a lot is better permeates many sites. Since it costs relatively nothing to add materials to a site, they stick on everything that comes in, feeling that they are offering more, and the user can not tell the valuable information from the trash.
Our web site, www.blochcancer.org, is in its infancy. Originally we had our book, Fighting Cancer, reproduced. This was because we have received so many letters stating how this book saved the patient’s life. Then we added our other two books, because everything we do is free and we never seek donations. We felt that this was a way for patients to get the much needed information without waiting for it to be mailed.
Knowing how important a multidisciplinary second opinion is in the successful treatment of cancer, we have gotten institutions all around the country to offer this to newly diagnosed cancer patients. We have the listing of these 140+ sites and the names and phone numbers to contact available. Then we have added links from our site to the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ physician state-of-the-art treatments so that anyone can readily find the proper treatment for their specific problem simply, without any red tape or round about searches. We also added a link to NCI’s current open protocols for those requiring experimental therapy. It is simple, easy and direct.
Lastly, the articles that have appeared in Coping are available for patients and physicians to read, and information about the Bloch Foundation including programs, parks, etc. are shown for those interested in helping others in their community. There is a great deal more that could and should be included. We would appreciate your suggestions as to what it is. Our very narrow goal is to help the newly diagnosed cancer patient have the best chance of beating the disease. That is not by giving them volumes of stuff to wade through or referring them to complex, lengthy sites, but by giving them the pertinent information they need to successfully fight the disease.