For this first week assignment, I
decided to focus on Cervical cancer. All this information can be found on
and the National Institutes of health
While reviewing the WebMD site, I made a firm decision that the primary
audience are women. This site mainly is to create awareness and it gives a
summary of the disease, causes, symptoms, treatments and preventions. WebMD
does not give age specifications about the women at risk although it does
specify that women under the age of 26 years and younger can be vaccinated to
reduce the risk of cervical cancer. The National Institutes of Health site on
the other hand states that, “The benefits of screening women younger than 21
years are small because of the low prevalence of lesions that will progress to
invasive cancer.”

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         WebMD did not have any incidence and
mortality rates, while the National Institutes of Health with extensive
research states, “An estimated 12,820 new cervical cancers and 4,210 cervical
cancer deaths will occur in the United states in 2017.” It continues to mention
that,” The mortality rate for black women, is nearly twice the mortality rate
for white women.” This is a very vital information that is important to both
the patients and health professionals.

         The National Institute of Health site,
targets health care professionals with a secondary audience leaning towards patients
and they also offer technical communication. Gurak and Lannon (2016) states
that “virtually all professionals, at some point, function as technical
communicators. Experts are often required to present their knowledge to non-expert


       WebMD has variety of articles regarding
cervical cancer including; health tools, exams and tests and when to call the
doctor. It also has informative slide shows with visual guides that can help
women understand more about what the disease is all about. The National institutes
of Health site gives a lot of clinical information with no visual aides to
assist the non-medical person in understanding about the disease.

          As a woman speaking from the
non-medical view, Web MD would be a more desirable site only because it is
understandable and easy to take in and I can be able to view the PowerPoints
and diagram, so I can fully understand where it stems from. The information
also has a question and answer format with 3 or 4 bullet points provided. The National
Institute of Health site has long educational paragraphs that are based on
observational studies, case -control studies and solid evidence.

         WebMD is focused solely on one
audience, women and The National institute of Health focuses on professional
audience with its technical and clinical presentation, which is a good source
of information to the health care profession. WebMD offers information and
advice with a more caring tone and encouragement advising patients to talk with
family, friends, counselors, support groups or even call the American Cancer

        I noticed also that both websites do
not use graphs, tables or figures. When it comes to persuasive strategies, WebMD
is clear and concise, it advises to women to get regular screening i.e. pap
tests to reduce the risks of the cells becoming cancerous, HPV vaccines, abstinence
and using protection when sexually active. The National Institutes of health on
the other hand states information based on solid evidence which when explained
to a patient, gives more reasoning as to how this disease progresses. Examples
include; HPV, immunosuppression, sexually active patients, high parity,
continuous use of oral contraceptives, smoking, diethylstilbestrol (DES)
exposure are all associated with increased risk of cervical cancer.

            Although both sites provide
information on cervical cancer, the content is presented in different ways.
WebMD is written for women especially who may be affected or at risk of the
disease. The National Institutes of Health focuses on professionals and
students in the medical field. I feel that each website is developed for their intended
purpose. WebMD is quite easy to maneuver, it provides the reader with basic
information regarding treatment, prevention and lifestyle changes.