How we produce our information

Our information is based on the latest evidence and is reviewed every 2 to 3 years. It is written in plain English and we try to make it accessible to the widest range of people.

About our information

We produce independent, expert, up-to-date information for people affected by cancer. Our information is based on the latest evidence and is reviewed every 2 to 3 years. It is written in plain English and we try to make it accessible to the widest range of people.

What we produce

We produce information about cancer types, tests, treatments, and living with and after cancer – including work, money and relationships. We aim to provide information on the topics of most concern to people living with cancer and those who are affected. We provide all of our information free of charge.

See our information about the current coronavirus situation here.

Macmillan believes that quality information is vital for people affected by cancer. It can help people understand their situation better. It allows them to make informed decisions about their treatment, care and day-to-day lives. It can also help people feel more confident and in control. This page explains our editorial policy and the key principles we follow to produce our information.

You can search for cancer information on any topic using the search box on the top-right of this page. Or you can browse the web pages in our Cancer information and support section. You can also use our personal guide to get information tailored to your situation.

Most of the information on our website is also available in printed booklets and leaflets. You can order these free of charge from be.Macmillan.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We try to make sure our information is as clear as possible. We use plain English, avoid jargon, explain any medical words, use illustrations to explain text, and make sure important points are highlighted clearly.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected. Our aims are for our information to be as clear and relevant as possible for everyone.


We follow accessibility and readability guidelines to make sure our information is as clear as possible. This means using plain English and avoiding jargon, explaining any medical words, using illustrations to explain text, and making sure important points are highlighted clearly. We use white space, a larger font, photos and tables to make things clearer too.

We also try to make our information more accessible by providing a range of languages and formats. We offer translations, audiobooks, eBooks, videos, Braille, large print, easy read and British Sign Language.

We have more information about accessibility on our website.

How we ensure quality

Our information is produced by a team of cancer information development nurses, content developers and editors who are experienced in producing accurate and accessible information.

All of our medical information is rigorously reviewed by cancer professionals to ensure that it’s accurate and reflects the best evidence available. It is approved by a Senior Medical Editor with experience in the relevant topic and our Chief Medical Editor, Professor Tim Iveson, a consultant medical oncologist.

Our non-medical information is reviewed by relevant professionals who are experts in their fields. Our information is also reviewed by people affected by cancer to ensure it is as relevant and accessible as possible. We are always looking for new ways to involve users of our information in its development.

We make every effort to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and up to date but it should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialist professional advice tailored to your situation. You are strongly advised to consult with an appropriate professional for specific advice tailored to your situation. So far as is permitted by law, Macmillan does not accept liability in relation to the use of any information contained in this website.

Sources used

We rely on a number of sources to gather evidence for our information.

All of our information is in line with accepted national or international clinical guidelines where possible. Where no guidelines exist, we rely on systematic reviews, published clinical trials data or a consensus review of experts. We also use medical textbooks, journals and government publications. In our booklets, we list a sample of the sources used.

If you would like further information on the sources we use, please contact the cancer information team at

The PIF TICK – our quality guarantee

We are proud to be members of the Patient Information Forum and to have been awarded the PIF TICK.

PIF Tick

When you see the PIF TICK on our website and booklets it shows that we have followed robust production processes and met PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information:

  1. Information is created using a consistent and documented process
  2. Staff are trained and supported to produce high-quality information
  3. Information meets an identified consumer need
  4. Information is based on reliable, up-to-date evidence
  5. Patients are involved in the development of health information
  6. Information is written in plain English
  7. Print and digital information is easy to use and navigate
  8. Users can give feedback on the information
  9. Information is promoted to make sure it reaches those who need it
  10. The impact of information is measured

Information relevant to where you live

We want our information to be relevant to everyone affected by cancer, regardless of which region or country in the UK they live in.

Whenever we create or update a resource, we look at the information to make sure it’s relevant for all countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some of the ways we do this include:

  • using our style guide of terms, institutions, policies, practices, systems, laws and organisations that vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • making sure the ‘useful organisations’ we list in our resources cover all of the UK
  • working with colleagues and relevant professionals in each country of the UK
  • asking people affected by cancer from all countries of the UK to review our resources.

While most of our information isn't for or about a particular country, where there are differences, we include these.

How you can support us

We want to ensure that people affected by cancer are at the heart of all the information we produce. Everything we write is read and reviewed by people affected by cancer, to ensure that it’s clear, accessible and relevant to people’s experiences.

If you'd like to support us by reading and reviewing our information, please contact the cancer information team at You don’t need any special qualifications, just a cancer experience and an interest in good quality cancer information.