One of the most common responses preceding a cancer diagnosis is anxiously searching the Internet. Within an instant you have an overwhelming amount of information at your fingertips. But how do you know what is backed by high quality evidence? It can be quite time consuming and feel impossible to know which sources to trust with all of the conflicting information. I recommend using science-based resources to get the most reliable material. The goal of science is to find what’s true through a method that doesn’t use personal testimony or what we think is true to find the evidence based answers. It is the only successful method for discovering what is factual instead of going with our own personal bias, or what a friend or random website tells us.
Many sites can sound extremely convincing and may appear science based, when in fact they use many science-sounding words or will quote a single or few poor quality studies instead of looking at what the entire scientific consensus finds. It can be really hard to tell the difference too. If we visit some of these questionable websites, we usually find something to support our personal beliefs, but it might not be what the evidence really shows. Knowing what a reliable resource is can prevent you from spending unnecessary money, energy, or harm. So how do you know who to trust? Everyone seems to think they are the nutrition experts online and people who mean well can unfortunately provide tons of misinformation. Here are some science-based websites I recommend and regularly follow. Check out these sites and give them a follow.
- Survivors’ Table Facebook page (as I share articles and links that aren’t always on the blog)
- The American Institute of Cancer Research
- Cancer Dietitian blog
- Cancer Answers MD blog
- National Cancer Institute
- Karen Collins blog
- Quackwatch (international network of people who are concerned about health related frauds, fads, myths, and misconduct)
Cooking: Recipes and meal planning
- Cook for Your Life – recipes specific to your cancer issues and symptoms
- Eating Well (recipes and meal plans)
- Fitness Blender (blog and videos)
- Lose It (fitness app to track your food intake and exercise)
- My Fitness Pal (fitness app to track your food intake and exercise)
General Nutrition Information
- NutriSearch (science based search engine and blog)
- Diet vs Disease blog
- Best Food Facts blog
- Food Insight (nutrition and food safety resource)
- Leah McGrath (Grocery store registered dietitian & social media guru)
- Peel Back the Label (resource for separating fact from fear with food labeling)
Supplements and Food Safety
- United States Pharmacopeia – (resource to find quality supplements)
- Consumer Reports (resource for transparency in the marketplace)
- Consumer Labs – (resource to find quality supplements)
- NSF International – (public health and safety organization)
- Farm Babe (Iowa farmer covering truths & myths of modern agriculture)
- Farmer’s Daughter blog (daughter & sister to Michigan farmers and a lawyer who educates consumers about farming)
- Michele Payn blog (leading expert in farming and food)
- Safe Fruits and Veggies (science based information about safety of organic and conventional produce)
- Food Farm and Discussion Lab blog
- Jennie Schmidt (Registered Dietitian and farmer)
More science websites related to health or agriculture
- Science Meets Food
- Sci Mom’s (mom’s who work in science and write about facts and not fear for nutrition and environmental topics)
- Science Based Medicine (doctors who evaluate medical treatments and products)
- Thoughtscapism (blog on science, health, and the environment)
I’m also including a list of some unreliable sources for reference. These people and sites can sound convincing, but often provide misinformation is not supported by the scientific consensus. If a person claims they have found a cure for cancer and it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If can be hard to determine credibility unfortunately. Most of these products claiming to be cancer fighting exist to make someone rich and have little to no research to show its claims are true. Just because someone is popular, makes a lot of money, or has done something for years doesn’t mean that they are a reliable resource—and this is true for every industry. You can also use the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which is a private agency that accredits the accreditation agencies. Many sales people may have good intentions, but are taken by the promotional materials and possible financial gain.
Examples of unreliable resources
- Dr. Oz – the cancer dietitian also writes about him here.
- Dr. Mercola – the cancer dietitian also writes about him here.
- Food Babe – she has a computer science major with no formal nutrition training
- David Wolfe
- Natural News
- The Truth About Cancer
- Dr. Axe
If you’re ever not sure, you can always visit some of the science based websites I recommended or Quackwatch to see what the science based community finds. If you can’t find what you are looking for then reach out to some of these resources and I’m sure they would be happy to help you out. Cancer is hard enough, don’t let finding evidence based information be a stress while going though treatment.
For more updates, you can follow Survivors’ Table on Facebook. Thanks for joining me on this journey! – Danielle