People researching cancer treatment options predominantly go online, new research has found.
A report released by web monitoring firm comScore suggests that more than two-thirds of individuals researching cancer visit websites providing information on specific cancer-related drugs.
Surfers subsequently validate their findings through discussions with physicians, family or friends.
Breast cancer was the most frequently researched form of the disease among people looking for information online in the past year.
One third of all online researchers sought information on breast cancer, while nearly one in five looked for information on skin cancer, and 18 percent researched colon/rectal cancer.
While the majority of online cancer researchers sought information on only one type of cancer, 20 percent reported researching more than one form of the disease.
Those researching cancer online sought many different types of information related to the disease.
According to the study, 70 percent of researchers look for details on treatment options, while an equal percentage look for information on symptoms for diagnosing the condition.
More than half are looking for information on the causes of cancer, 40 percent for information on cancer drugs and 38 for help in coping with the disease.
"The internet provides a reliable, private and immediate resource for cancer sufferers and care givers whether they are researching treatment options or seeking information about a specific cancer related drug," said Carolina Petrini, vice president of comScore's Pharmaceutical Solutions Group.
"Not surprisingly, online cancer researchers are a highly involved group, focused mostly on finding information on available treatments and seeking to understand the symptoms, but also looking to understand the causes of their condition."
Cancer enquiries centre on the Web
By Will Head on Oct 19, 2006 10:01AM