Cancer charity works to combat ‘fake news’ online

A charity also has appointed a digital nurse to talk to cancer sufferers online because it fears those who look up their disease might be left needlessly frightened.

Macmillian Cancer Support has created the role to fight ‘news’ in reaction to a growing demand for information regarding cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The Digital Nurse Expert will be devoted to answering inquiries from individuals affected by cancer online, on the internet community of the charity and Macmillan’s social media platforms.

Michael Gray, aged 60, was diagnosed with rectal cancer at 2013. Michael was experiencing symptoms of this disease for a while and did not want to worry his family consequently turned to the web for information.

He explained: “I started suspecting something was not right about fourteen weeks before my diagnosis. I didn’t want to worry my spouse so covertly looked up my symptoms.

“The websites confirmed my worst fears and naturally I was fearful. The terror was compounded by the fact I had recently lost both my parents to cancer. My hope was that I was young.

“Following my diagnosis and through my treatment my spouse avidly looked for information on the internet. I had to stay away from the internet, it was too scary.”

Macmillan research has revealed that an people thought after looking up information about their disorder online they were going to die.

In addition to rolling out this fresh Digital Nurse role, Macmillan is calling for support for cancer sufferers on the internet with healthcare professionals which means that they could signpost them to trusted sites getting more training on the information available to their patients.