Relative Frequency of Breast Cancer Website Information Topics: Environmental Risk, Prevention, Detection, Treatment, Awareness, Social Support, and Survivorship

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


breast cancer, breast cancer web pages, breast cancer prevention, breast cancer enviornmental risks


The Internet is a popular source for Americans searching for health information (Fox, 2006; Hess et al., 2005). The potential for Internet usage for breast cancer information seeking makes it important to understand the types and relative frequency of content on environmental risk factors, prevention, detection, treatment, awareness, social support, and survivorship on popular breast cancer web pages. The top search results for websites in the most popular three search engines (Google, MSN, and Yahoo) were used to identify websites and web pages, and a total of 415 web pages were analyzed. This study demonstrates that about half of the top appearing web pages in popular search engines provide at least some information regarding environmental risks, risk reduction behaviors, awareness, prevention, detection, and treatment, while social support and survivorship topics were less frequently appearing topics. This study used ordinal codes and individual web pages as the unit of analysis, the results of which provide greater insight than prior content analyses of breast cancer media information.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Health & Mass Communication, v. 2, no. 1-4, p. 35-54.