CIN Website Now Offers Daily Online Cancer Newspaper

July 1, 1997

HUNTINGTON, NY--Health care professionals can now enjoy a daily cancer newspaper with their morning coffee--by logging on to the Cancer Information Network's daily news journal Oncology News International Today.

HUNTINGTON, NY--Health care professionals can now enjoy a daily cancernewspaper with their morning coffee--by logging on to the Cancer InformationNetwork's daily news journal Oncology News International Today.

With a click of the mouse, the user can scroll through a section labeled"Today's Headlines," then read selected items on the screen orprint out some, or all, of the day's oncology-related news, creating, ineffect, a personalized cancer newspaper.

Written by experienced medical journalists, this daily news journalis compiled from a wide array of sources, including major newspapers suchas the Washington Post and New York Times, TV broadcasts, cancer organizations,the FDA and other government agencies, and selected cancer journals.

"Although, on the Internet, information is king, it's useless unlessit's organized in some way that you can find it easily," said EdwinGeffner, director of interactive media at PRR, Inc., which developed andmaintains the Cancer Information Network (CIN). "We have, in effect,developed our own cancer news bureau and made it easily accessible."

If a reader is looking for specific information, he or she can do akeyword search for current or past news items. Articles will stay currentfor at least a year. For example, if the reader wanted to review storieson the proposed tobacco settlement, rather than going through months ofnewspapers, the relevant items could be found online in ONI Today.

Most of the articles carry links, highlighted by an underscore, so thatthe reader can go to the original source for more information. In manycases, e-mail addresses are provided so that the reader can go to the sourceand interact with the group that generated the story.

Mr. Geffner explained that ONI Today is not meant to provide in depthcoverage of scientific breakthroughs or medical meetings, "becausewe couldn't do those stories justice in the space we have. We've separatedthe daily news information from the more archival journal and conferencereports, which make up the bulk of the CIN website."

The CIN website includes full texts of articles from PRR's publications,including Oncology News International, the journal ONCOLOGY, Primary Care& Cancer, and Cancer Management, and free access to MEDLINE, amongmany other features.

As part of CIN's "one-stop shopping" approach for oncologyprofessionals, visitors to the website can now easily locate other cancer-relatedwebsites and "hyperlink" to them.

"With most search engines, if your keyword is cancer, you mightget a list of 20,000 websites that talk about cancer in some way,"Mr. Geffner said. But CIN's new section, Resources on the Web (see tablebelow), includes only sites that have cancer as a major focus or are ofdirect interest to oncologists.

Resources on the Web

Users of the Cancer Information Network can link to more than 640cancer-related websites in the following categories:

"Resources on the Web is one of the most comprehensive directoriesof cancer-related websites, user groups, and other Internet resources availableanywhere on the web," Mr. Geffner said.

The visitor will find a brief description of each site and, for someof the more complex sites, such as the one maintained by the American CancerSociety, a breakdown of the website by various sections with links to theappropriate pages at those sites.

Mr. Geffner pointed out that a frequent request from CIN users is: "Whatwebsites can I recommend for my patients?" Resources on the Web listsa wide selection of available sites under the section Patient Educationand Support. Another section allows physicians to learn about alternativetherapies their patients may be using or have asked about.

Although CIN does not have the resources to critically evaluate eachsite, physicians can, in most cases, quickly link on to the site, directlyfrom CIN, to find out what's there and then use their own judgment to assessits value.

Logging on to CIN

The CIN website was developed for optimal viewing with Internet Explorer3.0, but any frames-capable browser, such as Netscape Navigator 2.0 or3.0, may be used. Health care professionals may log on at www.cancernetwork.com.Phone 516-424-8900, ext 336, for more information.