I have always been struck by the differences among us re how much information we want about breast cancer and our own circumstances. Some women spend hours on the internet (certainly is easier now than in the days when one had to go to medical libraries and read through journals) and others only want to hear the basics from their own doctors: what is the diagnosis and what are we going to do about it.
I have always supported any personal wishes and styles. It really does not much matter how much you learn (although I realize that anyone who is reading this blog is definitely an information seeker); it matters that your own needs in that regard are met. It matters a lot that you have found and are working with a doctor whom you respect and trust. It is okay to read everything, okay to read nothing, and fine to be anywhere in between and to change your habits over time.
Here is a quote from a study by Nagler and colleagues in Patient Education and Counseling about a study looking at the information seeking needs of patients with colo-rectal, prostate, and breast cancers. Not surprisingly, those with breast and prostate cancer wanted to know more, and I would guess that the breast cancer patients wanted to know the most.
Following the quote, there is a link to read more:
There is much research describing cancer patients' information needs and
their use of the Internet, print media, and other sources to fulfill these
needs. Yet little is known about whether patients with different types of
cancer vary in their information needs and seeking behaviors. This study
used population-based data to address this question.
A sample was randomly drawn from the list of patients with breast,
prostate, or colorectal cancer reported to the Pennsylvania Cancer
Registry in 2005. Patients completed a mail survey (N=2010); respective
response rates were 68%, 64%, and 61%.
Colorectal cancer patients reported consistently less information seeking
than breast and prostate cancer patients. Multivariate analyses revealed
that differences by cancer type were not explained by sex or other
demographics, disease stage, or treatment received. These differences
were most pronounced among patients with early stage cancer.