FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- People who seek health
information on the Internet are more likely to have positive
beliefs about cancer prevention, instead of having the fatalistic
view that that getting cancer is a matter of luck or fate.
That's the finding of a survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. adults, aged
40 to 70. Previous studies have shown that television viewing can
increase cancer fatalism over time. This study examined the effects
of Internet use.
The researchers found that people who frequently use the
Internet to find health or medical information were less likely
than those who didn't use the Internet for that purpose to have
fatalistic views about cancer.
An especially important finding was that Internet use reduced
cancer fatalism among people who were less educated and less
knowledgeable about health to a greater extent than among those
with more education and health knowledge, according to the authors
of the study published in the December issue of the
Journal of Communication.
"Reducing cancer fatalism, especially among people with low socioeconomic status, is arguably one of the most important public health goals in the nation," study co-author Chul-joo Lee, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a journal news release.
Lee noted that "the Internet has become a new, very crucial
source of health information for the American public these days.
These findings have important implications since we showed that the
Internet may be a very effective channel of health communication,
especially for people with low socioeconomic status."
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about