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Komen unravels maze of cancer websites

Staff writer

Combing through 149 million pages returned from a Google Internet search for “breast cancer” for reliable, accurate information is a daunting task.

This would be equivalent to shuffling through a stack of paper almost nine miles high.

People seeking information for a wide array of breast cancer information may find it much easier to zero in on what they’re looking for by visiting the “Website Resources” page of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, according to its website.

Komen for the Cure is best-known for the more than 140 Komen Race for the Cure fundraising events, but providing support and information regarding breast cancer issues is a key component of the organization’s mission, according to Susan Brown, Komen for the Cure Director of Health Education.

“Providing safe, accurate, current information directly speaks to our promise of empowering people,” Brown said Friday.

“Good information arms people with what they need as they advocate for themselves and for others,” Brown said.

“The Internet is a great tool, but it isn’t monitored,” Brown added.

Komen for the Cure personnel review a website’s content before including a link to it on the Komen website resources page.

Brown said the websites listed by Komen for the Cure are associated with well-established nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, cancer centers, and governmental sources.

“We want to make sure that there’s relevance to our mission,” Brown said. “We don’t endorse any commercial sites related to breast cancer.”

Komen for the Cure currently lists 142 links to Internet resources related to breast cancer, grouped in categories to make it easier to find the particular type of information a viewer is seeking.

Categories cover a wide range of breast cancer topics from general information to medical intervention and social support, including risk factors and prevention, early detection and screening, diagnosis, treatment options, clinical trials, complimentary therapies, evaluating care, social support, after-treatment care, and financial and transportation assistance.

Brown emphasized breast cancer patients should work closely with their healthcare providers to determine Internet resources that may be beneficial and relevant to their particular circumstances.

The Komen for the Cure list of websites is not intended to be an exhaustive list of authoritative and reliable resources, and for those people trying to assess sites other than those her organization has reviewed, Brown suggested the ends of website addresses are a good place to start.

“Usually sites that are a .org or .gov are going to be more reliable sites,” Brown said.

The Komen for the Cure website resources list can be accessed from their home page, www.komen.org, by selecting “Understanding Breast Cancer” and then “Resources.”

Last modified Oct. 13, 2011

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