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Finding the Best Medical & Health Information Online

OK – you’ve just received a diagnosis. The doctors don’t have a whole lot of time to educate you. You are on your own to learn what you need to do to deal with what is happening to you.

First thing is to search online.

Typically, you enter the keywords for the disease, illness, or diagnosis in at Google.

Only if you put in the words “breast cancer” at Google, you get 154,000,000 results and 24,700,000 results at Bing. Wow.

There are ads at the top that often occupy the top portions of the first few pages. These two main general search engines than select some authoritative sources. They also offer you some carefully organized general information that is easy to digest. But the results leave a lot to be desired. You get general simplistic definitions and no clear definitive guidance or information.  They pass you to a few selected authoritative sources, but those results aren’t all that helpful either.

Clearly, you need to more specific and better information from Internet sources you can trust.  How do you do that? With two key search strategies:

  1. Use the right keywords
  2. Choose the best sources

With Google and Bing, you are on your own coming up with the right keywords and you leave it pretty much up to them with their algorithm to deliver the best results.

With Presari, you can get help with the selection of keywords and you can select where you get your information from.


Learn to Identify Reliable Information and Sources

First do the following search using Presari:

Finding Reliable Health Information Online

Click on Google, Bing, Facebook, Google News and Bing News. Read five or six articles and maybe watch a few videos at You Tube. Get familiar with what these articles say.

Generally, the quality of the information is based on the source and the authority and expertise of the contributors.

Verify that the content is written by doctors, nurses, or other experts working in the particular health field. Look for the credentials of the authors.  Look at the years of experience.

You may see a certain bias expressed by the creators of commercial websites, especially if they sell products and/or services. Evaluate the sources for bias and conflicts of interest. 

Seek the most recent available information. Look closely at the date of the information and when it was last updated.  Medical research never stops. Make sure the information is no older than 3 years.

Seek double verification. This means that you need to see the same data and information at several qualified authority sites. Only then can you trust the information and sources.


Be wary of the dot coms and scammers

Be very careful with commercial sites. Watch out for scammers. What works for one person may not be right for you.

Don’t trust any website with ads for products that say it can treat any sickness. “Natural” remedies do not mean that a product actually works or is even safe.

Marketers can trick you into buying their product with a galvanizing, claim-laden personal story that sound wonderful, but it can be completely made up.


Identify and Search the Best Sources

Websites that end in .org, .gov or .edu are usually more reliable websites for health facts that those that end with .com or any of the commercial domain extensions.

Social media sites may be entertaining and you may find people who are going through the same illness, but you are not likely to get definitive and valid advice.

Media sites and article are often useful and can contain helpful tips, but may also not be current, or specific enough for the situation you are in.

Some of the specialty fitness, lifestyle, and health magazines can be quite informative and educational.  But you should use them only for general education.

Some of the best ones include: Prevention, Web MD, Health Magazine and more.

To get real time strategic advice, the best thing to do is to search for and then identify the best sources directly.

Take the and then add the .org, .gov or edu to your keyword search.

Search at the medical professional organization: Alzheimer's Association, American Chronic Pain Association, American Diabetes Association, American Psychiatric Association and more.

Search at medical universities and colleges: the American College of Physicians (ACP), Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Health, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and more.

Search the remarkable resources available at state and federal government sites: Medline Plus, Medscape, the Merck Manual, Medical News Today, PubMed.

The US government sites in particular. The Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health can be extremely valuable.

Presari lets you search and select dozens of these top medical establishments from one platform. 


Use the right keywords when you search

Start with first searches using the keywords describing your diagnosis or the medical terms for the disease, illness or disorder. Then study the results.

Then add more words to your starting keywords and search again. Add the <disease word> and the <action word> together. 

This will reduce the number of results you get and narrow down the results to the specific education you need.

Then use search word rotation keeping the disease word the same and changing out the action word.  Consecutivily search and study each new set of results. 

Use keywords like these: symptoms, testing, diagnosis, treatment, treatment alternatives, prognosis, surgery, recovery, rehabilitation.


Pancreatic cancer symptoms


Pancreatic cancer testing


Pancreatic cancer diagnosis


Pancreatic cancer treatment

Realize that some search engines and sources will give you better results than others. 

Google and Bing do very well on phrase searchs, also known as semantic searches. Other search engines can best be used with only two or three word searches. 

Many search engine sites also have their own technology that allows you to do expanded custom searching. 

Do a new search to match the informational needs of your situation, selecting the keywords that focus on what you need to be educated on.


Use Phrase Searching – The four most powerful health searches to do

Some search engines allow you to use multi-word searches. There are certain magic words that will open up the doors to education quicker than others.

Here are a few of the best ones with an example:

What You Need to Know

What you need to know Pancreatic Cancer

Dealing with  

Dealing with Pancreatic Cancer

Coping with

Coping with Pancreatic Cancer

Finding the Best Doctor

Finding the Best Doctor Pancreatic Cancer

Questions to Ask the Doctor

Questions to Ask the Doctor Pancreatic Cancer

Latest Treatment News

Latest Treatment News Pancreatic Cancer


Getting Help Locally

You can find people in your area who are going through the same thing you are going through.

Enter your with the word Support Group or the words Networking Group plus the name of . 

Search on your disease word at Meetup and Facebook and look for groups in your area.

Pancreatic Cancer Support Group Seattle

Pancreatic Cancer Networking Group Seattle


Remember that not all search engines are equal. If you do a phrase search and the results you get don’t make sense, then start removing keywords one at a time, then rerun the search at the site you are on.