Cancer Institute Revamps Web Site

The National Cancer Institute unveiled its redesigned CancerNet World Wide Web site today, with easier navigation and enhancements for first-time users, including an expanded dictionary of cancer terms and a publications locator.

The site, cancernet.nci.nih.gov, has a new design and layout intended to improve the user's journey through the site, said Susan Hubbard, director of the International Cancer Information Center for NCI. The changes come after tests of current and potential Web site users, including physicians, cancer patients, friends and family, all with varying levels of Internet experience.

"These changes to CancerNet are just the first in a series of improvements that are planned based on extensive user input," Hubbard said. "It's really been a user-driven system from the beginning."

Site improvements include pages on specific types of cancer that contain information from the NCI's Physician Data Query database; full-text search capabilities; NCI fact sheets and publications; choice of patient and health professional versions of trial abstracts with links between the two; and closer integration with CancerTrials, the NCI's online resource for clinical trials information and news.

Hubbard said future enhancements will focus on the site's search-engine capabilities and content development. "Some releases are not as fleshed out as they should be, and we're going to continue to develop content [especially] on treatment information," she said.

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