News | July 01, 2009

Quality of Lung Cancer Information Online Better in U.S. Than Japan

July 1, 2009 - A study published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology revealed that internet-based lung cancer information was of a higher quality in the United States than in Japan, according to a study by Dr. Yasushi Goto of the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo.

Dr. Goto and his team of researchers from both the U.S. and Japan evaluated 150 Web sites and determined noticeable differences in the quality and type of information on lung cancer available over the internet in the two countries.

Dr. Goto and his team conducted the online review by searching the term “lung cancer” on Google United States, Google Japan and Yahoo! Japan. The first 50 Web sites returned by each search engine were analyzed for validity, ethical perspective and the reliability of the site’s administrator. Most remarkably, the team found distinct differences in the validity of the information on treatment methods and options for lung cancer. Eighty percent of U.S.-Google sites discussed the most common treatment methods and standard treatment protocol, compared to only 50 percent of the sites from the Japanese Google and Yahoo! search engines. Additionally, more than 10 percent of the Japanese sites advertised alternative therapies.

Other differences between the two countries include the visibility of ethical policies, which were more noticeable in the United States, and the affiliation of site administrators. Nonprofit organizations and public institutions were frequently the primary administrators in the United States, whereas commercial or personal Web sites were more common in Japan.

Despite the several cultural differences between the United States and Japan, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both countries.

For more information: www.jto.org

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