The dangers of fake medical news online
Attitudes to cancer have changed dramatically over the years, so too has access to information about the disease. More and more people are using the web to research their symptoms and treatment, but not all sites give a true and honest view of the condition.
Macmillan cancer support has appointed a Digital Nurse to combat ‘fake news’ online, as it fears that cancer patients are increasingly turning to Google to find out more about their diagnosis without adequate support. Digital Nurse Specialist, Ellen McPake, will be answering questions from people on social media platforms, and the charity’s online community. The charity believes that it is important for people to be able to access a trusted source of information online, using websites that are accurate and reputable, rather than those which contain incorrect or dangerous information.
One of the myths that she has been quick to dispel is that screening is only necessary for people who have symptoms. Screening means looking for early signs of a disease in otherwise healthy people who have yet to develop symptoms. So, it’s important to take up any invitation you receive to attend a screening programme, as early detection can save lives.
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