What is a CancerMap?

This page contains no sensitive information and is intended for a general audience. It provides an overview of what a CancerMap is including why they look the way they do, how they are constructed and who can make them.


It was written by Dr. Mac Thiessen on May 4 2023.

What are CancerMaps?

CancerMaps are specially designed webpages addressing the challenges people navigating the cancer journey face. They follow a specific structure based on the findings from the first CancerMaps study and are built through a process involving engaging with cancer patients, friends and family, as well as healthcare professionals.

Each CancerMap is designed to help people navigating the cancer journey become oriented to a specific cancer challenge. Each CancerMap addresses why the challenge is happening, what to expect, and some of the options for navigating it. Additionally, a CancerMap connects the individual with other web-content addressing the same or other cancer challenges.

CancerMaps are designed to be discovered by individuals when they use internet search engines (i.e., Google) to find answers to the questions that arise on their cancer journey.

Who can make a CancerMap?

To make a CancerMap you need a team that includes people that have experienced the challenge firsthand, as well healthcare professionals that have expertise relevant to the challenge. Lastly, you need an author who can work with the team to transform the team’s lived experience, knowledge, and expertise into the cancer format.

If you are interested in making a CancerMap to address a challenge that you or someone you care about has faced, please don’t hesitate to reach out via info@cancermaps.ca.

Will CancerMaps always look the same?

The CancerMaps that have already been created have used the template developed in the first CancerMaps study. This template is a starting point. As more research is completed as part of the CancerMaps project what a CancerMap looks like will evolve to increasingly better serve the millions of people facing cancer who regularly use the internet to inform their journey. 


Please consider signing up for the CancerMaps newsletter to get updates on the CancerMaps project and how you can help.