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Most people turn to 'Dr. Google' for cancer information: survey

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Summary

85% of Canadians turn to the Internet for facts about cancer: survey

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Have you ever turned to the Internet to search for answers to your pressing health questions?

A new survey commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society finds — despite years of warnings — “Dr. Google” is still our first stop for facts about cancer.

“The survey found that nearly half of Canadians have questions about cancer, and 85 per cent of those people are actually turning to the Internet for the information. Two thirds of those people are feeling more stressed and overwhelmed after turning to the Internet for that information,” explains Lacey Horta with the Cancer Information Service, which allows you to call or email an expert for free.

Despite so many people turning to a search engine, only 69 per cent of us trust what we read there.

“We do find that people are often calling us, and they’re going through one of the most difficult times of their lives — they’re often newly diagnosed or they have a family member who is newly diagnosed — and they’re really just not sure where to turn for services or for the information that they need to better understand their diagnosis,” says Horta.

“It’s kind of a nice feeling because often by the end of the call, people are letting us know that they really wish they would have contacted us sooner for that reliable information, and the support that they receive from talking to a live person,” she adds.

The survey has found doctors are trusted by 94 per cent of Canadians, yet only eight per cent of us contact them first with questions. Cancer organizations and charities are trusted by 87 per cent of us, but only 4.5 per cent go to them for information.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Cancer Information Service. Daffodil Month is also set to get underway April 1st.

Money from purchasing a daffodil pin goes towards supporting cancer patients and their families, as well as research.