About Maggie's CancerLinks

What is Maggie's CancerLinks?

Maggie's CancerLinks is a cancer information website. The site aims to help people with cancer, their friends, families and carers find high quality information about cancer and its treatment. We have also produced some generic information for many sections in the site to start you on your journey through the internet.

Why was Maggie's CancerLinks created?

There is a huge amount of cancer information available on the internet which can be overwhelming, even to those used to searching for information online. Lots of people with cancer and people supporting them want to look for information but find it difficult to find the information they want online and also to know which sites to trust.

There are over 603 million links displayed for "cancer" using a popular search engine (Google) and even if you have a more detailed search like "breast cancer treatment" there are still over 63 million hits. A large number of these websites are unregulated and may mis- inform their visitors. It can be difficult to tell which sites are the ones which you can trust.

How do we choose which sites to link to? 

External websites linked to from Maggie's CancerLinks have been have been quality assessed. We check to make sure the sites we link to are easy to use to find the information you want and as far as possible have information that is correct, reliable, up to date and complete. 

The idea for this site followed lots of comments from people with cancer and carers about their difficulties in finding information on the internet about cancer and its treatment.

The main problem was how good the information was. It can sometimes be very difficult to tell as a website may look very professional and yet its contents have little basis in fact.

Websites  we link to from this website has been checked using  a healtcare website assessment tool called LIDA. This involves some automatic checks the programme does itself as well as members of the project team answering several questions about the website. The programme then gives each website a rating for Usability, reliability and accessibility which are combined to give an overall score.

Where possible we only include sites which score highly in all 3 areas, however sometimes sites may have very useful information but poor website design which has resulted in a low score.

Throughout the website links appear in the order in which the organisation they come from is scored and then in alphabetical order. The exceptions to this are some very specialised organisations and also some local information which may be  tagged to always appear at the top of the page.

Details about LIDA are available by visiting the Minervation website. As well as information they have their online version LIDA tool which you can use to check out other websites you may come across.

Keeping it up to date

Although the content of Maggie's CancerLinks is in practice added to on a daily basis the following formal review targets apply to the website:

  • Generic information pages , and tumour site specific pages are reviewed at least annually coordinated by Maggie's Online Centre Head. 
  • Individual links are reviewed at least Annually to ensure their destination and any contact details are correct and the link description is accurate. 
  • Organisation LIDA scores are reviewed annually coordinated by Maggie's Online Centre Head.

We are constantly reviewing and adding to the content of Maggie's CancerLinks. We have tried to include a variety of styles and academic levels of information to reflect the individual needs and learning styles of people affected by cancer. If you feel we have missed something, would like to comment on existing content or have questions about how the external websites are rated please contact us.