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Find Reliable Health Websites

The internet can be a good place to find information about diseases and treatment. But finding an accurate source is not always easy.

Many health websites share information you can trust. The Medical Library Association* suggests that you ask these questions when looking at health information online:

  • Who sponsors the website? Be sure the site’s hosts and their qualifications are clear. Good sources include medical associations, hospitals, medical centers, and medical schools. Drug companies and the makers of medical products often have good information. But they only focus on their own products.
  • Is the site current? Has it been updated recently?
  • Is the information fact or does it present opinions? If opinions, whose opinion is shared? Those of qualified professionals?
  • Is the site written for medical professionals or the public?

*Used with permission from the Medical Library Association, mlanet.org/p/cm/ld/fid=398

Begin your research

These sites are reviewed by qualified medical professionals. Each site is updated often.

MedlinePlus®  is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s site. You can learn about more than 400 health topics. The site also offers drug information, medical dictionaries, and directories of hospitals and doctors. Information is in English and Spanish.

Healthfinder® offers an online health library. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services updates this site. The library contains details on hundreds of diseases and conditions. It also has a guide to medical tests and surgeries and a drug database. Information is in English and Spanish.

The Merck Manual Consumer Version offers information about medical conditions in everyday language. It is based on the Merck Manual. This manual is one of the world’s most widely used medical textbooks.

KidsHealth offers health information for teens and younger children. It also has a section for parents. This is a good source of kid-friendly descriptions of medical conditions, tests, and procedures.

Websites for specific medical conditions

Childhood cancer

American Cancer Society (cancer.org) is a national non-profit group focused on fighting cancer. Type “childhood cancer” into this site’s search window. The site contains information in English, Spanish, and Asian languages.

National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov) is a government agency that does cancer research, training, and education. The site shares Young People with Cancer: A Handbook for Parents free of charge. The site contains information in English and Spanish.

Candlelighters (candle.org) is a non-profit group for families of children with cancer and childhood cancer survivors. The site contains information for parents and resources for young children and teens.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States (pbtfus.org) is a non-profit group focused on fighting childhood brain tumors. This site contains information for parents, patients, survivors, and siblings. Education booklets also are offered in Spanish. To order these booklets, e-mail familysupport@pbtfus.org or call 800-253-6530.

American Brain Tumor Association (abta.org) is a non-profit group that provides many resources. Their materials focus on the complex care needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers. They share information from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

Infectious diseases and immune disorders

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (niaid.nih.gov) is a government agency. They do research and training in infectious diseases, allergies, and immune disorders. The “Health and Science” section of this site has information on many infectious diseases.

Genetic disorders

National Human Genome Research Institute (genome.gov) is a government agency. They do research and training on human genetics. The Health section of this website has information on genetic disorders. It also explains how to contact the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) for more information.

For more information

Talk to your health care team for other ways to find good health information online.

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Reviewed: September 2022