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Advantages of using the web…
- You can find information on unusual subjects - including rare cancers - that may not be covered in the books and leaflets at your hospital or library.
- You can search for as much information as you want, at times that suit you.
- In theory you can find a lot of very up-to-date information on the Internet (but remember that a poor site that isn't updated properly can end up just as out of date as an old book or leaflet).
- You can find technical information aimed at doctors and other health professionals… maybe you feel able to tackle this sort of information, but you can't readily get it from elsewhere.
- You may be able to contact other people around the world who have been diagnosed with a similar cancer. You could join an email support or discussion group, for instance, so that you feel less isolated.
Disadvantages of using the web…
- Anyone can create a website. There is no censorship to protect you. Alongside the many excellent, reputable sites you will find others created by crooks out to make money by selling miracle cures… or by well meaning people who unwittingly give dangerous or misleading advice.
- You may end up being overwhelmed by information. If you type the word cancer into most search engines you are likely to get hundreds of possible sites to view… with no easy way of knowing which are the good ones and which you should avoid.
- You may also find yourself with a pile of conflicting information from different authors and sources. What will you do with it all? How will you decide what to believe?
- You may find out things you'd rather not know.
There are plenty of very personal websites, for instance. Some include heartbreaking personal stories.
You could read something that upsets you greatly… and yet your circumstances may be entirely different, and the information may not be relevant to you at all.