WILMINGTON, DelawareThe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign (NBCAM) has launched a new tool to help the public navigate the Internet to obtain the most credible and accurate information about breast cancer. The Hot Topics search engine offers one-stop shopping for women seeking information about breast cancer, Bette Iacino, national coordinator of NBCAM, said in an interview with ONI.
Women with questions about breast cancer can log onto the NBCAM website (www.nbcam.org), click on NBCAM Hot Topics in the upper righthand corner, and find a list of frequently asked questions. Clicking on a question takes the user directly to a list of health organizations that can provide the answers, including the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Underneath each organization is a list of topics from its website to help the woman zero in on the most likely sources to answer her specific question. One click takes her to the topic page. Closing the page takes her back to Hot Topics.
To choose the questions, NBCAM surveyed its own call centers and website to identify the top 12 questions women have asked over the last 2 years, Ms. Iacino said (see box). The final item directs users to information available in Spanish.
The advantage of the new search engine, Ms. Iacino said, is that it allows the user to stay in one place and get answers to a number of different questions without having to drive all over the Internet.
Hot Topics was launched in honor of the 15th anniversary of NBCAM by its Board of Sponsors, a group of 17 national public service organizations, professional associations, and government agencies. Hot Topics searches the websites of all 17 sponsors.
The Board was concerned about the potential dangers to public health arising from unsubstantiated information about breast cancer on the Internet and saw a need to provide credible breast cancer information in a user-friendly format.
Inaccurate information about cancer can lead women to make decisions that seriously jeopardize their health, Ms. Iacino said. Credible information from trusted sources will ensure that women follow the best course of action with confidence.