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The following excerpt is taken from Appendix B of Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Practical Guide to Your Future by Nancy Keene, Wendy Hobbie & Kathy Ruccione, copyright 2000 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. For book orders/information, call (800) 998-9938. Permission is granted to print and distribute this excerpt for noncommercial use as long as the above source is included. The information in this article is meant to educate and should not be used as an alternative for professional medical care.

There is an astonishing amount of information available through the Internet. Libraries from all over the world can be accessed, and you can download information in minutes from huge databases like MedLine or Cancerlit. Exchanges between individuals occur through bulletin boards and discussion listservs. However, the large numbers of people using the Internet has spawned thousands of chat rooms, web sites, and FAQs (frequently asked questions), which may or may not contain accurate information. You might want to adopt the motto, "Let the buyer beware." It is wise to verify information prior to acting on it and to bring all questions or concerns you have to your physician.

Support

Mailing lists (also called listservs) are free, email discussions on specific topics of interest. Each subscriber receives a copy of an email sent by any member of the group. Some active groups generate dozens of messages a day. If you subscribe to the "digest" mode, you will receive one email containing all the messages posted that day. The following three sites provide ways to find over a hundred cancer-related listservs:

The Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc. (ACOR) maintains dozens of Internet support groups. Some examples are PED-ONC, GVHD support group for post-BMT patients, LTS (long-term survivors) and BMT-TALK. To find a list of the groups, go to http://www.acor.org/.

OncoLink provides a place on their site (http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu/psychosocial/support/) to subscribe to cancer-related listservs.

Web sites

BMT newsletter
http://www.bmtnews.org/
All issues of the newsletter are online, as well as an extensive list of resources.

Cancer Links
http://www.cancerlinks.org/

CANSearch
http://www.cansearch.org/
A guide to cancer resources on the Internet from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

Deaf World Web
http://dww.deafworldweb.org/
Comprehensive deaf-related resources.

Healthfinder
http://www.healthfinder.gov/
Hundreds of medical links.

Mayo Health O@sis
http://www.mayohealth.org/

Medline
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/
Free access to the National Library of Medicine's database.

Medscape
http://www.medscape.com/
Free database of articles, medical dictionaries, drug databases, and a bookstore.

OncoLink
http://www.oncolink.com/
Extensive cancer site with many links.

Outlook
http://www.outlook-life.org/
A web page for survivors of childhood cancer.

The Pediatric Oncology Resource Center
http://www.acor.org/ped-onc

Social Security
http://www.ssa.gov/
Forms for benefits and disability.


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