BETHESDA, Md--Cable television, not computers, may be the best
way to reach the poor with information about cancer research,
Harold P. Freeman, MD, said at a meeting of the National Cancer
Advisory Board (NCAB) that focused on issues of minority recruitment
into clinical trials.
Dr. Freeman, director of surgery, Harlem Hospital Center, and
chair of the President's Cancer Panel, said that "we continue
to isolate the poor, those without the equipment to search the
Internet, those without phones to call for information. The Internet
has elitist demographics, no quality control, and no security
He recommended that an "800" phone number be made available
and widely published for those without computers who want to obtain
the same information that is being given out on the Internet.
And for those who have no telephones, Dr. Freeman said that cable
television is currently much used by the poor and by minority
cultures, and thus would be a good means of disseminating cancer
He added that, for those patients with Internet access, the balance
of power between patient and physician may shift. "In the
future, patients will come to their physicians with more knowledge."