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Consumer Health Websites  

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Consumer Health Websites

Medical information found on the Internet may be used to prepare for a visit to a physician or to better understand a diagnosis or treatment. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care and should not be used to diagnose or manage one's own health concerns. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, and/or wish to commence or modify any medical treatment, consult your health care provider.

Beware of commercially-motivated and poorly focused consumer health resources. Look for a reputable sponsor of the page, uptodatedness, and ease of navigation. Before you begin searching the Internet for health information, be sure to take a look at these sites, which will teach you how to assess consumer health websites' information and products:

  • Finding the Answers to Your Health Questions (University of Connecticut Health Center): The purpose of this website is to teach you how to search for medical information, how to evaluate the websites you find, and how to understand the information that you read.
  • Quackwatch:  A guide to quackery, health fraud, and intelligent decisions regarding your health.


    • Medical Library Association MedSpeak Terms
      This website provides definitions of commonly used medical terms, prefixes, and suffixes.
    • Understanding Medical Words
      This website offers an introduction to medical terminology. The fast-paced and easy-to-use tutorial focuses on word roots and parts, memory shortcuts, and abbreviations to assist users in understanding medical conversation and jargon.


    • 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors
      From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality come these easy ways to become more involved in your healthcare.
    • Everyday Health
      Everyday Health offers more than 100 tools to help people stay healthy. These include storage and management of personal health records, telephone services, disease information, articles, forums, calculators, a physician finder, symptom checkers, and much more.
    • (American Academy of Family Physicians)
      Men's, women's, children's, elders' health; common conditions and illnesses; and tools such as a dictionary and a body mass indicator calculator.
    • Health on the Net Foundation
      HON has a medical search engine that provides links to many sites.
    • Healthfinder (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
      The US Department of Health and Human Services's website has fact sheets on healthcare and diseases.
      HealthyPeople 2020 is a statement of national health objectives designed to identify the most significant preventable threats to health and to establish national goals to reduce these threats.
    • Intelihealth (Harvard with Aetna)
      Covers a variety of topics from allergy to weight management, plus children's to seniors health, tools, and tips on leading a healthy lifestyle.
      More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic share their expertise to empower you to manage your health.
    • MedicineNet Home Page
      MedicineNet's information is organized by diseases and conditions, symptoms, and medications/supplements/vitamins. It also contains a medical terms dictionary, images, and advice for healthy living. This site is written by physicians.
    • MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
      Covers many health topics and includes dictionaries and glossaries, news items, medical encyclopedia with an extensive library of medical images, tutorials, information about specific diseases and conditions, and links to other types and sources of information.
    • Medtropolis: Home of the Virtual Body
      Excellent explanations of diseases, outlines for healthy lifestyles, drug information, and fun lessons in anatomy.
    • Merck Manual Home Health Handbook
      The full text of the manual's 2nd home edition explains disorders, who is likely to get them, their symptoms, how they're diagnosed, how they might be prevented, and how they can be treated. It also provides information about prognosis and includes drug tables, illustrations, and anatomical drawings.
    • National Health Information Center's
      This is a referral service that helps put you in contact with those who can help.
    • National Network of Libraries of Medicine Consumer Health Resources
      Helps you to rate health insurance plans.
    • NetWellness
      (University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University) Basic health information, including an excellent illustrated health encyclopedia and an African-American health page. The site also includes an explanation of clinical trials.
    • WebMD
      WebMD is one of the most popular consumer websites. On it you can find health and wellness news, support communities, and interactive health management tools. You can also participate in real-time discussions with experts and with other people who share similar health conditions or concerns.
    • US Department of Health and Human Services:
      Information on and links to information on health, financial assistance, health insurance, safety, statistics, disease prevention, emergency preparedness


    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
      NIAAA's website provides pamphlets, brochures, and answers to frequently asked questions dealing with alcohol use and abuse. Also includes referral information and clinical trials data.
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
      You'll find here a wealth of information for parents, teachers, and students on news, research, common drugs of abuse, and mental health and substance abuse disorders that often occur together. Includes a list of related websites.
    • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)
      Resources for people with or at risk for substance abuse and/or mental illness. Explains public policies on, contacts for, advice on, links to programs for substance abuse treatments, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, criminal rehabilitation, etc.








    • Human Anatomy Online
      An interactive site divided into body systems (digestive, skeletal, etc.) that gives brief explanations of the functions of body parts.
    • Medtropolis
      In addition to explanations of diseases, outlines for healthy lifestyles, drug information, this website offers fun lessons in anatomy.




    • American Cancer Society
      ACS provides a detailed guide on breast cancer causes, genetics, risks, prevention, screening and diagnosis, treatment, life after treatment, research and clinical trials, and breast prostheses and reconstruction. It also includes information on new breast cancer research, male breast cancer and a breast cancer treatment decision tool.
    • Breast
      In addition to finding up-to-date information on symptoms, side effects, ways of lowering your risk for breast cancer, radiation therapy, breast reconstruction, and of dealing with day-to-day matters (managing costs, your job, and your medical records), you will have access to discussion boards, blogs, chat rooms, and ask-the-experts online conferences. The site also offers information on the risk of pregnancy to breast cancer patients.
    • Breast Cancer Action
      Breast Cancer Action is a national education and activist organization that advocates for more effective and less toxic treatments and for a decrease in involuntary environmental exposures that put people at risk for breast cancer. The organization provides information via newsletters, its website, e-alerts, and a toll-free number.
    • Breast Cancer Mailing List
      The Breast Cancer Mailing List contains e-mail postings available to all who join. Participants are women and men who have breast cancer, their families and friends, medical and other caregivers, researchers, students, and other concerned people. Postings offer treatment and disease information, practical information on insurance, emotional support, and personal experiences that provide perspective and reassurance.
    • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
      Brigham and Women’s has an excellent webpage containing information on different methods of breast cancer diagnosis.
    • FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer) Empowered
      This organization, dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, offers support and information—through brochures, newsletters, and webinars--on the risk factors of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, living with these diseases, and other helpful topics.
    • Imaginis Breast Cancer Resource Center
      Here you will find helpful information on screening, diagnosis, treatment, and mammography preparation. The site also has breast cancer news and links to additional resources.
    • Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition
      The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition has been committed to fighting the breast cancer epidemic through education, outreach, advocacy, spearheading changes to legislation affecting cancer issues, and continuously raising money to support innovative epidemiological cancer research projects at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.
    • Mayo Clinic: BRCA Gene Test for Breast Cancer
      The staff at the Mayo Clinic explain what the BRCA gene test is, why and when it is done, what to expect, and how to reduce your cancer risk after a positive test result.
      MedlinePlus, produced by the National Library of Medicine (US National Institutes of Health), is the premiere consumer health website. Type “breast cancer” in the search box and you will find links to information on types of breast cancer, genetics, breast cancer risks, mammograms, treatment, breast reconstruction, and much more. MedlinePlus’s breast cancer tutorial can be found at
    • Minority Women’s Health (
      Click on a minority in the menu and then choose Breast Cancer. You will find a number of brochures containing both general breast health information and information tailored to particular minorities: African-Americans, Latinas, Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska natives.
    • National Breast Cancer Foundation
      In addition to information about signs and symptoms, types of breast cancer, stages of the diseases, types of therapy, this site hosts a video called “Beyond the Shock,” which covers topics from breast anatomy to types and staging of breast cancer to treatments and treatment side effects.
    • National Cancer Institute
      On the NCI website, you will find a wealth of information regarding both female and male breast cancer, in English and Spanish. There are pages devoted to prevention, risk assessment, genetics, treatment, research, clinical trials, statistics, breast cancer news, and complementary and alternative therapies.
    • Survivorship A to Z: Information for living with Breast Cancer
      Initially funded by Johns Hopkins University and the City of NY, this site is now maintained by volunteers who offer very helpful advice for coping during different stages of breast cancer.
    • Susan G. Komen For the Cure
      This is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Understand your test results, decide on a particular treatment, improve your quality of life after treatment, and know what to ask your doctor.
    • WebMD
      WebMD explains and differentiates among the different kinds of breast biopsies.
    • Young Survival Coalition
      Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is an international organization dedicated to the issues unique to young women with breast cancer. YSC works with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities to increase the quality of life for women aged 40 and under who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    CANCER (other than Breast Cancer) See also CLINICAL TRIALS and WOMEN'S HEALTH

    • American Cancer Society
      Detailed information on various types of cancers; cancer news; coping help.
    • Association of Cancer Online Resources
      Mailing lists, support groups, treatment options, clinical trials, publications, and more.
    • (from the American Society of Clinical Oncology) provides a wealth of information about cancer in general and breast cancer in particular. In addition to diagnosis and treatment, you will find material on the psychological effects of cancer and on sexuality, and self and body image.
    • Cancercare
      Medical news related to cancer research. Information about this organization's counseling and educational programs. Help in dealing with financial needs. The site contains many links to other sites.
      Research and clinical updates, information on specific types of cancer and their risk factors, diagnoses, staging, prognoses, treatment options, clinical trials, supportive resources, and social issues.
    • Cancerlinks
      Many links to excellent sites with information on all types of cancers. The links include websites dealing with genetics, emotional support, treatments, advocacy and legislation, alternative medicine; insurance;and more.
    • Cleveland Clinic:
      Produced by the Cleveland Clinic, this website offers information on chemotherapy drugs and their side effects.
    • Inside Cancer
      Inside Cancer, created by Cold Spring Harbor's Dolan DNA Learning Center, is an interactive, animated, and textual introduction to cancer biology. Brief audiovisual clips of scientists add insights and interest to beautifully presented and easily understood information.
    • i’m too young for this! cancer foundation
      The mission of “i’m too young for this” is to build community, improve quality of life, and provide meaningful survivorship to those under forty. It contains forums and blogs, and links to sites that address the issues of feeling alone, needing money, needing a lawyer, needing a break, and inability to work.
    • Legacy Tobacco Documents Library
      An online resource of the University of California-San Francisco, the Library and Center for Knowledge Management contains more than twenty million previously classified pages from tobacco industry files.
    • National Cancer Institute
      In addition to a lot of basic information regarding different types of cancers, this website lists clinical trials, and provides statistics and news about cancer research.
    • National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)
      NCCS’s mission is to advocate for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer.
    • National Comprehensive Cancer Network
      This website provides information on clinical trials and cancer drugs. It includes patient guidelines, a physician directory; news about cancer research, and a long list of links to cancer resources on the Internet.
    • OncoLink
      OncoLink was founded in 1994 by Penn cancer specialists with a mission to help cancer patients, families, health care professionals and the general public get accurate cancer-related information at no charge.




    • Centerwatch Clinical Trials Listing Service
      Newly approved drug therapies, results of drug clinical trials and drugs currently in clinical research. Many links to other health associations.
      At this site, you can either browse or search clinical trials by condition, funding organization, or recruitment status.
    • National Cancer Institute Cancer Trials
      Search for information on 1,500 current research studies on cancer. Includes information defining clinical trials, how to search for studies, and how to participate.
    • Search the Studies
      From the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, this site allows you to search by diagnosis, sign, symptom, or other keywords or phrases.


    • Community Resource Database
      With detailed information on nearly 12,000 community resources on Long Island, the CRD is a comprehensive online directory of health, education, social, and human service agencies and programs on Long Island.


    • ConsumerAction
      Check out the publications on this site for helpful consumer information from banking to utilities (e.g., your electric services).
    • Consumer Product Safety Commission
      Full-text of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's newsletter.
    • Kidd Safety
      Brought to you by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this website helps to prevent unreasonable risks of injuries to children associated with consumer products.
    • Public Citizen (from The Health Research Group)
      This consumer advocacy organization, partnered with The Health Research Group, "uses research and public education to promote system-wide changes in health care policy." Look here for "questionable doctors," medical devices, information on drug and food safety, and many other health topics.




    • American Diabetes Association
      Basic diabetes information plus advice on nutrition, weight loss and exercise; legal resources and community programs.
    • Children with Diabetes
      An online community of kids, families, and adults with diabetes. News, health, advocacy, support.
    • Diabetes Public Health Resource (CDC)
      Translating diabetes research into daily practice, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's website offers answers to frequently asked questions, statistics, and summaries of CDC projects. The website includes news about diabetes,and links to relevant websites, publications, and products.
    • Diabetic Mailing List Home Page
      Discussion list for people with diabetes.
    • Diabetes Mall
      Information on the types and causes of diabetes, medications and alternative therapies, tips for control, tools such as a body mass indicator calculator, and many useful products that can be purchased from the website.
    • Diabetes Self-Management
      A bimonthly magazine for people with diabetes.
    • The Diabetes Monitor
      "Monitoring diabetes happenings everywhere in cyberspace, and providing information, education and support for people with diabetes."
    • Joslin Diabetes Center (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School)
      News, research, education, and diabetes management. Also includes information about the Joslin Diabetes Center.
    • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
      Prevention and treatment; clinical trials and research reports. A booklet called "Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy" can be found at
    • TypeOneNation
      A type 1 diabetes community created by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This is a great resource for connecting with other who have type 1 diabetes.




    • Americans with Disabilities Act
      On this site you will find basic information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    • Cornucopia of Disability Information (CODI)
      An excellent website that provides links to government agencies, organizations, support groups, legal information, directories, information on employment, and much more.
    • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
      A compilation of disability resources by state; research summaries; and information on various topics such as autism, relevant US education laws, and learning disabilities. The site has an interesting newsletter that provides information on particular disabilities and offers many links to other helpful website.
    • National Rehabilitation Information Center
      This is an online gateway to an abundance of disability- and rehabilitation-oriented information. There are three searchable databases: REHABDATA has publication abstracts; NIDRR Project Database has information on all projects funded by NIDRR; and the NARIC Knowledgebase is a collection of resources for information and referral. On this site you will also find publications of the Center, descriptions of services it offers, and a Did You Know column.


    • Drug Digest
      DrugDigest is a noncommercial, evidence-based, consumer health and drug information site dedicated to empowering consumers to make informed choices about drugs and treatment options.
    • Drug Safety and Availability (FDA)
      Information for consumers and health professionals on new drug warnings and other safety information, drug label changes, and shortages of medically necessary drug products.
    • FDA for Consumers
      FDA Consumer is the official magazine of the Food and Drug Administration. This site includes the magazine"s archives back to 1989.
    • My Medicines
      This easy-to-read pamphlet and medicine-tracking chart can be used to learn more about taking medicines correctly. It is available in many languages.
    • Needy Meds
      For those who cannot afford their medications, Needy Meds supplies information about drug companies" special programs.
    • PDRhealth provides prescription drug information for consumers as well as information on diseases, conditions, clinical trials, a drug interaction checker, and more.
    • Pharmacy and You (American Pharmaceutical Association)
      Brochures on common health problems such as pain, asthma, sort throat, and heartburn.
    • RxList
      Profiles of 300 drugs currently approved by the FDA; RxList's drug monographs are more complete than those at other similar sites. The website has a search engine that allows searching by drug name, keyword, imprint code, NDC, pill ID, side effects, or drug interactions.
    • RxRISK
      On this drug safety website, you can research and report drug side effects.
    • Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites
      Check this site to verify that a particular online pharmacy is legitimate.
      Public Citizen's Health Research Group provides reliable information on more than 600 top selling drugs including 185 that they recommend you not use; an online searchable database; recommendations on safer alternatives to harmful drugs; alerts about newly discovered drug dangers, and more. A year's subscription costs $15.




    • Chromosome Deletion Outreach
      This parent support organization is an excellent resource that describes chromosomal abnormalities.
    • Genetic Alliance
      "In our central position in the genetics community, we are able to empower individuals and advocacy organizations to help better the lives of their constituents: individuals and families living with genetic conditions."
    • Genetics Home Reference
      Each genetic condition page links to summaries for genes that are related to that condition. You'll also find a glossary to help you understand the technical terms found in each summary. In addition, for each condition, there are multiple links to other sites that provide information for that condition.


    • Nassau County Department of Health
      Nursing home contact information, immunization schedules, and how to obtain birth and death records, and free HIV testing and counseling, and much, much more.
    • State of New York Department of Health
      You'll find health news, information for consumers, information about vital records, and a public health forum.
    • National Health Information Center
      The Health Information Resource Database includes 1,100 organizations and government offices that provide health information upon request, list of publications and telephone numbers, and Healthy People 2010.
    • National Institutes of Health
      A gateway to the extensive resources of federal agencies, publications, health hotlines, clinical trials, health literature references, and to other sites.
    • United States Department of Health and Human Services
      An incredible source of information from the federal government, including dictionaries, statistics, health policies, and guidelines. There is also a wealth of information on topics such as disasters and emergencies, diseases, drugs, vaccines, Medicaid, and domestic violence.
      This site includes government information arranged by topic, including health and nutrition.


    • (ACHE) American Council for Headache Education
      Some general information on headache as it relates to women and to children; information on prevention, help in finding physicians and support groups. The site also offers a discussion forum and a glossary.


    • American Heart Association
      Comprehensive cardiac information: A-Z heart and stroke encyclopedia, diseases and conditions, CPR, health lifestyle advice.
    • Congenital Heart Information Network
      For professionals and consumers groups, this website provides information, support services, and resources to families of children with congenital heart defects and acquired heart disease, and to adults with congenital heart defects.
    • HeartPoint
      Health tips, healthy recipes, very good multimedia presentations explaining conditions, and surgery and other treatment.
    • Yale University School of Medicine Heart Book
      This is the full text of an online book dealing with all sorts of heart-related information.


    • The American Hospice Foundation
      A searchable database of hospices with websites. The site also has many links to caregiving and advocacy resources; useful articles; various publications including videos and manuals; and grief workshops.


    • Immunization Action Coalition
      Childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information and hepatitis B educational materials. It provides an immunization schedule.




    • American Diabetes Association: For Parents and Kids
      Basic information explaining diabetes, a section on legal rights of diabetics, and fun games.
    • Children with Diabetes
      An online community of kids, families, and adults with diabetes. News, health, advocacy, support.
    • FDA Kids's Home Page
      A great site for kids that explains the work of the FDA, food and drug news, and select special topics such as "All About Vaccines" and "What to Do About Flu." It also includes games and Yorick, a skeleton that explains medical devices.
    • FEMA for Kids
      Attractive and fun site that offers information on protection against and emergency action during disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, thunderstorms, volcanoes, earthquakes, wild fires, winter storms, AND national security emergencies). It prepares the reader to put together a home supply kit and to protect pets and other animals. The site also includes games and quizzes.
    • Go Ask Alice! (Columbia University)
      Directed at a teenage/college-age audience, Go Ask Alice! Is the world's leading health question and answer service with an archive of over 2500 straightforward and in-depth responses to questions sent anonymously to Alice!'s e-mail box.
    • Healthfinder for Kids
      The US Department of Health and Human Services has put together a list of health website links suitable for children.
    • Kids Konnected: Cancer Support & Education


    • Lab Tests Online
      This site, sponsored by the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, has been designed to help the patient or caregiver to better understand the many clinical laboratory tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases.


    • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
      "Facts for Families" provides easy to understand fact sheets describing psychiatric disorders.
    • American Psychological Association Help Center
      APA's Help Center offers facts on mental health and disorders, including work related issues, teen violence, family relationships, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, and schizophrenia. It also has guides on choosing a therapist and what to expect from therapy.
    • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
      This is the site of the nation's largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons affected by serious mental illness. Here you will find information on policy, research, books, meetings, and news concerning psychological disorders.
    • National Mental Health Association
      This site provides good, basic information on many psychological disorders; and information on advocacy, prevention, referral, public education, and legislative alerts on public policies affecting people with mental illness.




    • Health
      Top medical news stories of the week with links to related CNN stories and to other websites. The website allows for keyword searching of its entire database.
    • Healthcare 411
      Healthcare 411 is a news series produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Using the latest podcasting technology, these weekly audio and video programs feature AHRQ’s latest research findings as news and informational stories on current health care topics. Healthcare 411 gives consumers information they can use to improve the quality of their health care and help them navigate the health care system.
    • New York Times
      The last month of all health-related articles are freely available, as are some older ones.
    • News in Health
      NIH News in Health is a free monthly newsletter bringing you practical health information based on research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation's medical research agency.
    • World Health News
      Published Wednesdays and updated throughout the week.






    • American Association of Poison Control Centers
      Prevention tips and resources, including the brochure "Preventing Poisons in the Home"and links to many poison safety-related sites.
    • Household Products Database
      You can browse or search for ingredients in and dangers of common household items including personal and pet care products, pesticides, household cleaners, and auto products.


    • NORD ( National Organization for Rare Disorders)
      NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.
    • Orphanet
      A portal for rare diseases and orphan drugs (drugs developed specifically to treat rare medical conditions)




      Overview of transplantation of specific organs, legal and ethical issues of transplantation, news, many references, an index with links to related sites, support, and personal stories.
    • Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients
      The Registry monitors and evaluates advances in transplant surgery techniques and organ preservation, improvements in matching donor organs with recipients, and developments in immunosuppressive therapies in order to reduce the size of the waiting list and to improve transplant outcomes.



    WOMEN'S HEALTH (See also Breast Cancer)

    • FDA Office of Women's Health
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health (OWH) serves as a champion for women's health both within and outside the agency. On its website, it offers much free material on health topics as they relate specifically to women, such as: menopausal hormone therapies and progress in treating uterine fibroids. It also has a number of one-page brochures on topics from accidents to whole-body CT scanning.
    • Health Resources and Services Administration: Women's Health
      An interesting website that provides the Women's Health USA Databooks, which "selectively include emerging issues and trends in women's health. Data and information on health care quality, women in clinical trials, organ donation, and hormone therapy are a few of the new topics included."
    • National Osteoporosis Foundation
      Information on prevention and treatment, educational news, physician directory, resources catalog.
    • National Women's Health Information Center
      Sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services, this site links you to reliable and timely government and non-government resources on women's health.



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