Reliable information about childhood cancer treatment and where to find it

by Anna Suarez @ 17.10.2017

Reliable information about childhood cancer treatment and where to find it

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, parents want to know everything about diagnosis and the best treatment options. So they often search the web for them. In our new post we discuss strategies of finding reliable internet sources about childhood cancer.

Many of us have sometimes been “in the dark”. Here we do not mean the long November nights. To be in the dark means to be “unaware” according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. Nobody likes to be in the dark when it is a matter of something important. And what can be more important than your health and the health of your children? That is very true when looking for the best or newest treatment options of serious conditions, such as cancer. Childhood cancer is a subject dark enough in itself. That is why knowledge about the best treatment options from reliable sources is essential for coping with this difficult life situation.

While working on the Triumf project, we discovered that almost 50 percent of parents seek information from the internet. However, the global web is full of untrustworthy or out-of-date information that may cause more harm than help. Here are three strategies that can help select reliable Internet sources when searching for different treatment options.

  1. Ask from experts Ask for the guidance from a pediatric oncologist, a nurse, another physician, or from the community of parents of children with cancer. The main idea is to ask for advice about reliable internet sources from people with experience in the field. According to studies, seeking information about the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis is one of the coping strategies for parents whose children are sick with cancer.

Medical personnel and parents who have gone through similar experiences understand the need for all the available information that could help the sick child. Thus, people with expertise in the field can recommend many reliable internet sources that could help the parents of newly diagnosed children to cope with initial shock.

  1. Hospital, University, Institution, Research unit, or other academic and/or clinical web-pages Good examples are Pediatric Oncology ward of Helsinki University Hospital, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, Cancer Research UK.

Cancer research is one of the fastest developing field in medicine. Researchers from all over the world collaborate on developing more and more effective, personalized treatments with less side effects. To ensure collaboration and application of their work, researchers publish their findings both on open web pages and in academic journals. When full texts are not available online, you can always contact the authors of the study: they are usually happy to share their findings and offer further guidance.

  1. Governmental, national, and local voluntary organizations web sites Good examples are American Cancer Society, WebMD, WHO.

Sometimes it is hard to understand research articles or get a clear picture of the diagnosis and treatment options when they come from many different studies. Luckily, some governmental and non-governmental organizations summarize the information in a more understandable way. At the same time, these organizations are regulated and they publish validated information.

Remember: there is always the “light of knowledge” to look for – you just need to know where to look.

At Triumf we provide research-based information. September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – check out our previous posts on the topic!