MedlinePlus – Cancers

MedlinePlus - Cancers leads users to information about diagnosis, management, treatment, and complications of most forms of cancer. This section includes a medical encyclopedia and links to a variety outside resources educate the consumer about the many issues associated with malignant disease. This MedlinePlus section is recommended for information provided by some of the most authoritative and reputable sources in the medical field.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019


Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of the disease and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to the condition. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is simplistic with only a list of topics and no images or other infographics to draw users in.


Users will find anything they might need to know about all aspects of malignant disease. Inconsistent referencing make the veracity of each MedlinePlus page for a disease or condition variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for disease summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or speciality organization sites.


MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & Research, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally on the linked sites.


  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to the many issues associated with cancer
  2. Numerous links to reliable and up-to-date information about a comprehensive spectrum of malignant diseases
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and supplemented with materials generated by authoritative organizations


  1. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced here
  2. Users will have to spend significant time navigating and reading in order to get helpful information


Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, relevant journal articles, specialist finder, links to research, health check tools, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish