There's a great deal of information available on skin cancer. Some of it is of a high quality. Some isn't. How can you find the information you're looking for and make sure that it's credible?
Your best strategy for finding skin cancer information depends on the type of skin cancer information you're looking for. If you've just been diagnosed or are looking for general information on skin cancer, then there are articles on this site that will give you an overview of skin cancer causes, types, treatment and prevention. You can also visit other general information sites, such as:
- Canadian Cancer Society (for information and support for all types of cancer)
- Canadian Dermatology Association (for tips on sun safety and skin cancer prevention)
If you're familiar with the condition and are looking for more specific information, you will need to narrow your search. When it comes to the Internet, you can search within the general sites listed above using the "search" function on each website. You can also use a search engine (such as Google or Bing) to find specific skin-cancer-related information. The more specific the information you're looking for, the more specific your search terms (the words you enter to find information) must be. Choosing more than one search term (e.g., "skin cancer" and "laser surgery", instead of just "skin cancer") can help narrow your search (e.g., to include only articles on laser surgery for skin cancer). Some search engines offer help features where you can learn how to conduct your search for best results (this depends on the search engine).
Another way to find specific information about skin cancer is to conduct a Medline search. This can be done at a medical library or on the Internet using PubMed (a medical search database from the National Library of Medicine). The key to getting good results with Medline is finding the right search terms and narrowing your search. Read general articles on skin cancer to become familiar with the medical terms for the information you are looking for. Then use these medical terms for your search. If your search returns a large number of articles, you can limit the results to a particular year, language, or publication type. This should narrow down your search even further. If you're having trouble, ask a librarian for help, or use the "help" and "tutorial" features of PubMed.
If you're looking for an information source that's not online or computer-based, the Canadian Cancer Society is a great place to start. They will provide information, support, and advocacy for people living with cancer and their families. They can also provide information on cancer research and ongoing clinical trials.
How can you tell if an information source is credible? Here are a few things to consider:
- Who created the content? If the information is coming from a medical association, a hospital, or a university, or if it is written and reviewed by health professionals, it is more likely to contain credible, high quality information. Look for a medical editorial or advisory board – this is a good sign that health professionals have reviewed the information, which means it's more likely to be credible.
- Who sponsors the content? Does the website or pamphlet look like it's trying to sell a product? Information that's designed to sell a product may be biased toward that product. However, many product manufacturers provide balanced, credible information, so it's important to consider other factors that may affect the credibility of the information.
- When was the content last updated? The more recent the update, the more confident you can be that the information is current.
- Beware websites or pamphlets that claim to be the only source of information or to be providing information that has been "suppressed" by the mainstream medical world. These information sources are less likely to be credible.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Be-Treatment-Savvy