A wide range of cancer information resources is available to patients and their relatives, who are increasingly acting as independent learners. In order to examine preferences for different types of information and to establish the appropriateness of providing a Web-based cancer information resource (CancerHelp UK) a questionnaire survey was undertaken. Of 258 questionnaires distributed to patients attending for oncology outpatient or general practice appointments, 205 (80%) were suitable for analysis. 74% (95% confidence interval 68% to 80%) of participants wanted as much information as possible. All participants cited people most frequently as a future source of cancer information. All participants frequently cited television as a source of both general and cancer-specific information. Despite a lack of computer experience patients were significantly more likely than other groups to say that they would like to use the Web-based resource. It is suggested that such resources are likely to be increasingly well used, particularly by cancer patients, given the growth in health information on the Web and developments in delivery of digital information into the home via television.