Minorities Lack Internet Access to Cancer Research Data

February 1, 1996
Volume 23, Issue 5

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.

BETHESDA, Md--Cable television, not computers, may be the bestway to reach the poor with information about cancer research,Harold P. Freeman, MD, said at a meeting of the National CancerAdvisory Board (NCAB) that focused on issues of minority recruitmentinto clinical trials.

Dr. Freeman, director of surgery, Harlem Hospital Center, andchair of the President's Cancer Panel, said that "we continueto isolate the poor, those without the equipment to search theInternet, those without phones to call for information. The Internethas elitist demographics, no quality control, and no securityof information."

He recommended that an "800" phone number be made availableand widely published for those without computers who want to obtainthe same information that is being given out on the Internet.And for those who have no telephones, Dr. Freeman said that cabletelevision is currently much used by the poor and by minoritycultures, and thus would be a good means of disseminating cancerinformation.

He added that, for those patients with Internet access, the balanceof power between patient and physician may shift. "In thefuture, patients will come to their physicians with more knowledge."