Information on searching online

An online search for a condition such as cancer can bring up thousands of results. A lot of these results are not based on evidence and are not reliable. Here are some tips to help you find reliable and accurate health information online.

Health information should be:

  • approved by a clinical expert;
  • reviewed and updated regularly;
  • unbiased;
  • non-commercial (not trying to sell you anything).

Health information should not:

  • claim to replace the advice given by a doctor;
  • ask you to pay for a full emailed diagnosis.

When searching for advice on specific conditions, search well-known organisations, eg Cancer Research UK. Look for sites which end in:

  • .org (not for profit organisations);
  • .gov (government run websites);
  • (NHS websites);
  • (Northern Ireland health service websites).

Cross-check the information. If the same details are repeated across many different websites there is a greater chance that the information is reliable and up to date.

If you have any of the signs and symptoms of cancer, remember - it’s better to go to your doctor to get them checked. Google is no substitute for your doctor!