Delivering clear cancer information for patients and families

Cancer is a major health concern for many Australians. Clear guidance on how to reduce risk and what to expect with various cancers can help people to make informed decisions about their own health.

Biotext has worked with Cancer Australia since 2012 to plan, write, edit, design and manage aspects of their website and microsites. As the lead national agency for cancer control, Cancer Australia needs content that is clear, engaging and evidence based, and that speaks to consumers and health professionals in language they understand.

Our role:

  • Client partnerships to ensure business, stakeholder and user needs are met
  • Content analysis to identify content needs and gaps
  • Client workflow to streamline content production
  • Research to understand source material and identify key messages
  • Content design for robust frameworks to support updates
  • Content audit to plan content changes
  • Information architecture to support user understanding
  • Content development to write clear user-focused content
  • Editing and proofreading for quality assurance
  • Information design for visual displa

Cancer Australia website

For example, in 2017 Cancer Australia decided that their primary website and tumour-specific microsites needed to be updated. Biotext provided content analysis and produced workflows for identifying issues, recommending changes, obtaining approval and acting on recommendations. Combining programmatic and manual reviews of more than 1,500 pages, we identified and corrected all identified issues, and provided Cancer Australia with tools and advice for maintaining consistency across its sites.

We continue to update and improve the Cancer Australia website. In 2019, we updated 16 different cancer topics and the clinical best-practice section. Biotext researched the topics to ensure the information was up to date and evidence based, and rewrote and restructured sections as needed. We analysed original clinical reports to draw out the key points and messages and to ensure that the rewriting did not change the meaning. Biotext also made recommendations for site improvement, and wrote new sections on lymphoedema, palliative care, supportive care, complementary medicines and advanced disease.

Breast cancer risk factors and other web content

In 2018, we worked with Cancer Australia to develop content about breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for Australian women, and knowing how to reduce your risk is a key health priority. Cancer Australia wanted to develop a website that would deliver evidence-based, up-to-date information on key risk factors for breast cancer in women. Biotext content developers analysed the technical content that underpinned the new site and developed the information architecture (IA) and structure to group around 80 risk factors and protective factors. We translated technical and scientific language into information for a general audience, to ensure that the information on the website was clear and understandable. We also summarised the technical information for health professionals.

Women can now readily access the most accurate information, based on the highest quality evidence, on which they can act.

Dr Helen Zorbas, Cancer Australia CEO

We have continued to develop content for this key area of the website. In 2022, Biotext reviewed the IA, did tree testing and updated the section. Biotext researched the topic to ensure the information was up to date and evidence based, and rewrote and restructured sections as necessary. Biotext also made other recommendations for improvement, such as new section headings, reducing length and combining sections to reduce duplication.

Children’s cancer microsite

In 2014, Biotext researched and wrote the original content for Cancer Australia’s microsite about children’s cancer, which was the first comprehensive resource of its kind in Australia. This is a highly sensitive issue, and the content was written to be informative, credible and approachable. Along with descriptions of cancer types, diagnosis and treatment, we included sections about living with cancer and life after cancer, with tailored information for children, siblings, parents, grandparents, schools and communities. We also wrote sections for health professionals and researchers. More recently, Biotext reviewed the website and prepared a content audit, content plan and new IA. We also rewrote or edited all existing content and developed new content.

Healthy lifestyle tool

Biotext worked with Cancer Australia on the production of an interactive web-based tool on healthy lifestyles, Check your cancer risk. This project includes analysing and rewriting the existing content and developing new visual displays to convey information about lifestyle choices and cancer risks. The project also involved the design of comparison results for age and gender with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Biotext was sought out by Cancer Australia to develop and design the comparison results.