Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many online cancer tests inadequate

31.10.2006
Many self-tests for cancer available on the Internet do not fulfil the EU’s quality criteria, according to a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet.

“It is important to enlighten people searching for health information on the net that some sites don’t come up to scratch,” says MD Alexandra Ekman.

More and more people are starting to use the Internet to obtain health information. On certain websites, visitors can test themselves to find out what risk they run of developing a certain type of cancer. Alexandra Ekman examined a selection of such sites in 2001, 2002 and 2005, and her results show that none of them met all the quality criteria issued by the EU.

“Most sites are American, but all are available worldwide,” says Dr Ekman. “The information we found didn’t score particularly high on the quality scales we used. What’s more, there is no international consensus for quality criteria for the control and evaluation of information available online.”

However, Dr Ekman stresses that there are also sites that are fully adequate for assessing the risk of diseases. Her thesis started as an inventory in connection with a self-test for cancer that Karolinska Institutet launched a few years ago. The Swedish self-test was based on a site produced by the Harvard Centre for Cancer Prevention, which according to Dr Ekman maintains a high level of quality.

Her thesis also looks at the potential of the Internet in the new research field of

e-epidemiology. Information about diseases has traditionally been gathered through paper-based surveys, but there is much to suggest that web-based questionnaires give equally good results.

“Sweden is excellently suited for this kind of research because of our different population–based registries and our widespread use of internet, which reaches almost 100 per cent in some age-groups,” she says.

Epidemiology is the study of how diseases are spread throughout populations, and how risk and health factors interact with them. Researchers conducting such a study often monitor a large group of people over time to find out, for example, how their lifestyle affects their chances of developing a certain disease.

Doctoral thesis: "The Use of World Wide Web in Epidemiology Research" by Alexandra Ekman from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Downloadable from http://diss.kib.ki.se/2006/91-7140-948-3/

For further information, please contact:

MD Alexandra Ekman
Phone: +46 (0)8-524 878 15
Email: alexandra.ekman@ki.se
KI Press Office
Phone: +46 70 299 6389
Email: ulla.bredberg@ki.se

Ulla Bredberg | alfa
Further information:
http://diss.kib.ki.se/2006/91-7140-948-3/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>