When Patients Share Medical Data Online

Why so many patients are sharing their medical data online

Holly Lindem for TIME

Group Therapy

The day that Dave deBronkart learned he had Stage 4 kidney cancer, his doctor handed him a prescription slip. On it, he'd scribbled ACOR.org. Within 11 minutes of submitting his first post to the Association of Cancer Online Resources, deBronkart, a software marketer in Nashua, N.H., received recommendations for top specialists — with links included — from patients on the site's kidney-cancer list. Within half an hour, an e-mail arrived from an ACOR member suggesting which scans might be appropriate and offering details about interleukin-2, the only treatment at the time that resembled a cure. "This is scary, terrifying,"...

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