Why Should a Person Be Cautious About Unreliable Sources of Health Information?

Any health information found on the Internet or heard from a nonmedical professional should be confirmed by a reliable source because incorrect information can be harmful. Anyone can say anything or post anything on the Internet.

Reliable sources of health information include sites posted by government and medical oversight agencies, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration, the American Cancer Society or the American Medical Association. A hypothetical example of why a person should seek reliable health information is, a tea-selling website might tell readers to drink a specific tea to cure cancer. Then, a person might drink that tea and skip going to the doctor, only to find out when it is too late for a medical cure that the tea site was an unreliable source of health information.