our subprojects

Quantitative surveys

We are conducting quantitative surveys about the meaning of the term 'cancer' on several key subpopulations: oncologists; surgeons; pathologists; and lay people. Our goal is to determine any easily detectable differences in these populations about the meaning of the term 'cancer'.

Qualitative interviews

We are conducting interviews about the meaning of the term 'cancer' as it's understood by laypeople and by a variety of medical professionals. Our goal is to determine more subtle semantic differences across these populations, and to develop and test hypotheses about where semantic variation occurs.

Communication analysis

We will be monitoring diagnosis deliveries for certain low-risk cancers like PTMC. In the control condition, diagnoses will be delivered as normal; in our test condition, physicians will be encouraged to use the term "abnormal cells" instead of "cancer". We will analyze the conversations for linguists.

Statistical analysis

There have been several conditions, over the last few decades, that have been reclassified and renamed either to or from carcinogens. The goal of this subproject is to determine the extent to which these reclassifications have affected patient treatment decisions.