6 May 2015
Despite the ease of the internet and the changing technological
landscape, health professionals are still the number one source of
information for sufferers of colorectal cancer, according to
Adelaide surgical registrar, Dr Reizal Mohd Rosli.
Dr Mohd Rosli will present his findings of a recently conducted
study of 99 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the Royal
Australasian College of Surgeons' Annual Scientific Conference this
week in Perth.
Dr Mohd Rosli, from Adelaide's Flinders Medical Centre, said the
objective of his research was to ascertain the manner in which
patients accessed information about their condition, and how they
rated their satisfaction on the information made available from
"Although it is extremely easy nowadays for patients to do an
online search on colorectal cancer, surgeons were listed as
patients' first preference when it came to getting information,
according to our survey.
"This implies that surgeons or any other healthcare providers
still play a vital role in ensuring patients are well informed," Dr
Mohd Rosli said.
However, Dr Mohd Rosli stressed the importance of doctors
understanding the multiple information gathering techniques of
their patients, and to ensure that they received the highest
quality information available regardless of their choice of
"Doctors should help guide their patients towards useful and
reliable websites, to avoid misinformation or information overload
from the Internet."
According to the results, about half of patients with Internet
access went online to get more information about their condition,
with age not appearing to be a deterrent.
"The age of patients who used the Internet for information on
colorectal cancer ranged from 32 to 85 years old. This wide age
range suggests that age is not a factor when it comes to using
"Interestingly, one patient even used a smartphone application
to understand the cancer better, and he was 80 years old," Dr Mohd
Over a thousand surgeons from the Royal Australasian College of
Surgeons as well as international surgeons from the Royal College
of Surgeons of Edinburgh are gathering at the Perth Convention and
Exhibition Centre this week for a series of workshops, discussions,
Plenaries and masterclasses across a broad range of surgical
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