Blogging this

"We at MP Stat have reported before on tech-savvy physicians operating Web logs, but those physicians either assiduously avoided clinical content and used their blogs as psychological steam vents or presented Internet smorgasbords of personal and medical observations."  So says a 2004 article on the nominations for a clinical blog contest, as quoted in Pinoy MD's website.

This one got me thinking.  Anyone who has worked this job knows that there is a serious information problem among many cancer patients and their kin…and lots of ignorant or unscrupulous types lying in wait.  A lot of us would love to help, but where does one begin?
  • Which is the demographic that will benefit the most from oncology treatment information?
  • How would they access the information?
  • What language do they speak / read?
  • How do they finance their medical expenses?
Its not as simple as it had first seemed to me.  Educating the Philippine public about the cancer treatment options will not have the same impact as the drives on its prevention and early diagnosis.  We just don't have the national health benefits that would make it relevant as a large scale priority, translated into X number of dialects, maintained by Y committees– at considerable public expense.  On the macro level, infections are still the biggest of the major killers, not malignancies.  For the small subset that can afford to self-finance optimal antineoplastic therapy, how are their information requirements best served?  Are enough wired & online to make an official authoritative presence worthwhile?  And if government has other health priorities, who will serve these needs?  Who will watch for abuse, self-promotion, and quackery?  This is an interesting area for study– by whom… subspecialty societies?  NGO's?  tertiary hospitals?  All of the above, and more?

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