Cancer Patients and the Internet: Syndicated Research from CancerConsultants

Imagine a close friend or relative was found to have a new diagnosis of cancer. Where should they turn for help? A recent Internet-based research study found that patients reported that cancer information on the Internet was very useful for providing general disease and treatment information, and to search for clinical trials of new cancer therapies. Further, most patients reported that they were greatly helped by the Internet since their cancer diagnosis, and nearly two-thirds of patients would greatly recommend the Internet resources they have identified to other patients.

This study, entitled “Cancer Patients and the Internet”, was sponsored by the Patient Advocate Foundation and performed utilizing Oncosurvey.com™, the proprietary Internet-based market research tool developed by CancerConsultants.com.

“We were excited by the results of this survey. It shows that information is an important tool in patient advocacy,” reports Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Executive Director of the Patient Advocate foundation.

The recently published study revealed that the most highly sought information by cancer patients was information concerning the actual treatment of cancer and/or the availability of cancer clinical trials. Importantly, patients felt that this information was best provided by cancer specialty web sites, such as 411Cancer.com™ and Oncolink.com. Moreover, patients trusted the information on cancer specialty sites more than general medical sites or industry-based sites.

Patients appear to be spending time selecting the sites that most meet their information needs, with almost half of patients visiting 10 or more sites to identify the information they need.

Currently, fewer than 5% of patients interact with their physician or healthcare provider over the Internet. However, the overwhelming majority of patients stated that they hope to use the Internet to interact with their physicians in the future. An additional interest, patients believe that the Internet will become increasing important to help them define treatment options, to obtain access to clinical trials, and to obtain access to other new or innovative cutting edge therapies in the future. Patients also believe that the Internet will play an increasingly important role in helping them to identify physicians and cancer treatment providers for the services they seek.

The report, “Cancer Patients and the Internet”, further details the demographics of cancer patient Internet users, the types of sites and services visited and trusted, and identifies issues and services cancer patients are seeking on the Internet. The report can be obtained through the Patient Advocate Foundation by calling 1-800-532-5274 or sending an e-mail request to rcm@patientadvocate.org.

About Patient Advocate Foundation

Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization that serves as an active liaison between the patient and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job discrimination and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis through case managers, doctors and attorneys. Patient Advocate Foundation seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.