Healthline Reveals “State of Cancer” Study Showcasing Digital Information’s Influence in Patient and Caregiver Treatment Decisions

Healthline, the fastest-growing health information brand, launched the latest in its “State of…” series today with its “State of Cancer” study. This series offers consumers an in-depth analysis of critical health issues, with the State of Cancer exploring how digital information and patient support networks influence treatment decisions. The study of 1,500 participants revealed that 89 percent of patients and caregivers go online for medical information and nearly half join a cancer support group. But even with all the information available, many patients still rely exclusively on their doctor to make cancer treatment decisions.

These results, showing stark differences between generations, can help hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical marketers, and other businesses more effectively personalize information and create positive change for patients.

“The State of Cancer report spotlights a critical need in the cancer patient community not only for medically accurate information, but also for an understanding of patients’ cancer experiences,” said Tracy Stickler, Senior Vice President of Content at Healthline. “Healthline is an ally to patients throughout their health journey by providing condition-specific information, along with genuine caring, that acknowledges the modern health consumers’ experiences.”

State of Cancer was developed after an in-depth review of scientific literature revealed a lack of data on how patient engagement online and making decisions about cancer care varies by generation. Through the study, Healthline revealed findings that included:


  • 89 percent of cancer patients and caregivers go online to search for information related to cancer
  • 49 percent of millennials go online the same day they receive a cancer diagnosis
  • Millennials are 3x more likely than boomers to join online support groups
  • Overall, most participants agree that the internet empowers cancer patients and caregivers to make more informed decisions (78%) and to cope with fear and anxiety (71%)
  • However, half of Millennials feel the information they encounter online causes more anxiety and fear
  • Many patients prefer to defer to their doctor on cancer treatment decisions
  • 48 percent millennials relied exclusively…

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