Box 2: Expressed reasons why people with cancer used the internet for treatment decisions and to supplement medical consultations Before the diagnosis “During that week I was looking at everything I could find on the subject, on the internet mostly . . . I basically just put a search in on testicular cancer, and various sites and pieces of information came up . . . it gives you some sort of comfort to know that certain types can be cured fully without too much of a problem, but on the other hand at that time I didn’t know what sort of a problem there was. I mean, I didn’t even know that it was testicular cancer, I mean it could have been anything.” (TC07, man with testicular cancer diagnosed at 33 years old) To research and prepare “One can have a better knowledge of how to cope with such major surgery and trauma. I don’t expect a surgeon to spend hours on end trying to describe what he was going to perform and what he was going to make your lifestyle after surgery. I think (the internet) is something which one needs to have access [to] because they are not going to be able to commit themselves to that length of time . . . Sadly one has to do their own research. In every field of medicine there is an expert somewhere in the country, and they have to locate this person and have a consultation prior to surgery because the GPs don’t have access to this information, and even if they do they are not going to spend two or three hours trying to phone round and find out who is the best surgeon . . . I think a second opinion is something they need to do . . . it’s so important, so important.” (CRC16, 52 year old man who survived bowel cancer without a colostomy after having sought a second opinion) “The internet was invaluable the second time around when particularly we wanted information on primary cancer, you know, coming after another one, and the particular kind of cancer. I think they were very helpful, they give precise details of the cancers, and I felt that it was extremely helpful to get all the research and the findings and what they can do about it, the prognosis and all the rest of it—yeswed
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