Study finds breast cancer sites inaccurate

February 12, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
These days more and more patients are turning to the internet for answers to their medical questions, but a new study finds many breast cancer sites contain inaccurate information.Studies show that more than 40 percent of women with breast cancer turn to the internet for information. But doctors from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center are warning women to be skeptical of medical news on the world wide web.

They used popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo to locate 343 unique web sites covering breast cancer information. Most sites offered valuable guidance, but 1 in 20 contained serious inaccuracies.

Web pages that contained information about complementary or alternative medicine were 15 times more likely to contain false information than those devoted to conventional treatments, often emphasizing the use of herbs with little to no supporting evidence.

Researchers say that women can often spot a suspect website by paying attention to who is sponsoring it, pages that are trying to sell you something are not the best source of reliable information.

Also, experts recommend checking to see when the site was last updated, as treatments for breast cancer are often changing.