Frequently Asked Questions About Our Content

Last Reviewed: September 12, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Content

How often is the website content updated?

Most of our content is updated at least every two years. A piece may be updated sooner if there is a change in practice or guidelines. Every article has a date at the top so that you will always know when something was last updated.

Who writes the content?

Our editorial staff consists of oncology nurses and social workers who have spent many years working in clinical settings. They review the medical literature and use their clinical knowledge and understanding of plain language communication to make this information accessible for patients and families. We have access to experts from all areas of cancer care at Penn Medicine who graciously give of their time to review and write content. We also have an established editorial board to review content.

What is the reading level of the content?

We use plain language principles in our writing. Plain language is communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. Many people ask about the grade reading level of our articles. While many of our articles score at 7th grade or below, we do not aim for a specific grade level because our goal is to help the patient and family understand what they will hear from their providers. A patient with prostate cancer needs to understand what “prostatectomy” means as this term will most certainly be used by their providers. However, using that word makes an article score above a high school reading level!

In addition, if you look around our website, we have content written at all levels, from novice patients to information for providers. We do not segregate the content and a patient is able to dive as deep as they like. A good example is our “All About” series on different cancer types. These are not at all written in a simple manner, but we know that some people want to dive deeper and it is not always easy to find this information online.

What references are used to research topics?

We do searches of the medical literature on the topic at hand. We often reference websites of reliable organizations. We tap into the experts working in the topic at hand for clarification and clinical input. We have made an effort to include references at the bottom of our articles. Our OncoLife survivorship care plan has a reference list, as does our Reduce My Risk tool.

How is your Spanish content translated?

Our most popular content is available in Spanish. We use a third-party translation service that has extensive experience working with medical translations. In addition, we have native Spanish speakers on staff who vet the translations and work on the Spanish part of the website to make it user-friendly to our Spanish speaking audience. We use a generic Latin American Spanish for our translations.

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