Research Outline

Cancer Support Website Positioning


Identify and explain how cancer support websites position themselves, including their value proposition, goals, mission statement, and the way in which they try to get customers/viewers to perceive them as an organization. Also, provide a review of a few of the leading cancer support websites. This information will be used to inform the positioning, voice, and tone recommendations for another client.

Early Findings

The following cancer support websites were chosen to be analyzed based on the fact that they were listed as organizations offering cancer information on the website for the American Cancer Society.

Cancer.Net — American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

  • According to their "About Us" page on their website, the ASCO positions themselves largely as an organization that provides members, patients, and curious minds alike with doctor-written and approved information on cancer.
  • The ASCO states that, "all content is subject to a formal peer-review process by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, composed of more than 150 medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncologists, physician assistants, oncology nurses, social workers, and patient advocates."
  • is the actual website that is managed and funded by the ASCO. The website itself was originally launched in May 2002 as "People Living With Cancer (PLWC)" but was rebranded in April 2008 to Cancer.Net to better suit the content being published.
  • The website is split into multiple different information sections: 1) Types of Cancer, 2) Navigating Cancer Care, 3) Blog, 4) Coping with Cancer, 5) Research and Advocacy, 6) Survivorship, 7) en Español, and 8) About Us. On the "About Us" page, the website claims that they have organized the information in a way to make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for faster.
  • offers multiple ways for visitors to support them, including donations/monetary gifts, sharing information via social media, connecting/following on social media, and/or providing feedback about the website itself; they are not only asking for money.

CancerWise — The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • CancerWise is a blog that is published and managed by the U. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The website for this organization is slightly confusing, as it is built into the website for the Cancer Center itself. It is easy to leave the CancerWise page and get lost in the website for the Cancer Center itself.
  • The opening page for CancerWise first lists a number of articles, news stories, etc. that flow right down the center of the web page. Below them, however, is a large red box that reads "Give Now — Your gift will help make a tremendous difference" and prompts visitors to click a box directly below the message that would initially take them to a page vetting them to donate $100 "to help end cancer."
  • On the donation page, there is a checkbox below the dollar amount that prompts visitors to make their donation automatically happen every month. Further below this is the billing information section. There is also an option to "give in honor of" or "give in memory of."
  • Back at the bottom of the homepage for CancerWise, there is a large black box prompting visitors to donate blood in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and then another blue box directly below this one prompting people to volunteer for CancerWise.
  • The CancerWise specifically only includes links to other articles, information on different cancer types, and different cancer topics. It appears that other information relating to cancer is posted on the website for the MD Anderson Cancer Center itself. The pages for cancer types and topics only contain links to additional articles, as opposed to information pasted directly on the page.
  • On the menu bar for the MD Anderson Cancer Center, there are two different links that lead visitors to donate, while the others lead to web pages such as "patients & family," "prevention and screening," etc.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)

  • On the homepage for the NCCN, there do not appear to be any quick links to donation pages. Instead, there are links to events sponsored by the NCCN, links to research sponsored by the NCCN, and quick links to hot topics in the cancer and disease areas right now.
  • Links to the annual report, mission, and values for the NCCN are published directly on their homepage, which makes them appear as very open and honest to visitors.
  • On their "About NCCN" page of the website, the organization states that, "The NCCN is a not-for-profit allegiance of 30 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives."
  • The vision for the NCCN is stated to be as follows: "to define and advance high-quality, high-value, patient-centered cancer care globally."
  • The NCCN lists the core values that they uphold on their website, as well as information on their leadership, foundation as a whole, and a full list of the institutions that support them and their cause.
  • In order to find a donation page for the NCCN, a visitor first has to travel to the non-profit's foundation page within their website, and then select "Making a Difference" in order to be transferred to their donation page. From their visitors can choose from a preset or other amount to donate, choose whether to make their donation recur monthly or not, and input their billing information.
  • There does not appear to be anything on the NCCN's website that directly asks visitors to donate or support them with monetary gifts/donations.