#LCSM Chat Topic 8/25:  Pain and Lung Cancer Treatment: How Does it Affect You or Someone You Know?

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Our topic for the next #LCSM Tweet Chat on Thursday, August 25th at 5 PM Pacific (8 PM Eastern) is “Pain and lung cancer treatment: How does it affect you or someone you know?”  The moderator for this chat is Dr. David Tom Cooke (@DavidCookeMD)

Advances in the care and treatment of individuals with lung cancer are appearing rapidly.  With lung cancer screening we are finding earlier stage tumors.  With immunotherapy and targeted therapy, we are finding effective treatments for patients with advanced and metastatic lung cancer.  But during lung cancer interventions across the stages of the disease, patients may encounter pain.  Whether it is the pain of surgery for early stage lung cancer, treating painful bone mets in advanced disease, or treating adverse events for radiation and chemotherapy, pain has an impact, and significantly affects quality of life.

By having a conversation with the #LCSM community, #LCSM will put to light the impact of pain during lung cancer treatment, talk about the communication between the patient, family/friends & healthcare providers about pain during treatment, and discuss approaches and strategies that prove to be beneficial, or ideas that may be helpful in either preventing or making better pain during and after treatment for lung cancer.

With the above goals, here are questions that will be discussed during our August 25th Tweet Chat:

  • T1: Was pain a significant factor in yours or someone’s treatment of #lungcancer?  How so? #LCSM
  • T2: Was the topic/risk of pain brought up during discussions between the patient, family & HCPs about #lungcancer treatment? #LCSM
  • T3: If you or family/friends had chronic pain prior to #lungcancer Dx/Rx, was that taken into consideration? #LCSM
  • T4: What worked to control your pain during #lungcancer treatment? #LCSM
  • T5: If you could change/develop something to improve your experience with pain during #lungcancer treatment, what would it be? #LCSM

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.  Hope you’ll join us!

#LCSM Chat Topic 8/11: Direct to Consumer (DTC) Advertising in Lung Cancer–Educating Patients or Oversimplifying to Sell?

LCSM Chat 2016-08-11 graphic

by H. Jack West, MD

For some patients, seeing a TV commercial featuring Opdivo (nivolumab) as a product for lung cancer that highlights its survival benefit was a welcome new development. These commercials have blanketed high profile TV telecasts that have often focused on cars, insurance, and new technology devices. But some people find direct to consumer advertising of medications, especially cancer drugs, to be distasteful and arguably harmful. With the lung cancer community now entering a new era of DTC advertising of treatments that encourage patients and caregivers to “ask your doctor about” a new treatment option, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of this controversial approach: is it education or crass marketing?

Proponents argue that lung cancer is a disease that suffers from stigma and nihilism. Some patients and even many physicians minimize the value of chemotherapy and some other long-established treatments. For these people, awareness of a new strategy with the promise of improving survival and sparing patients expected side effects introduces the possibility for more people to see an oncologist and benefit from treatment. For an even broader range of people, including many not directly touched by lung cancer, just seeing any positive message associated with lung cancer is a welcome step forward for a disease in desperate need of better public relations.

But DTC advertising is also interpreted by many in the health care field as well as the general public as an exploitation of the hope of people who cannot understand the complexities of difficult considerations of the balance between risk and benefit. Only the USA and New Zealand allow DTC advertising of medications, with opponents arguing that these messages magnify benefits without appropriately reflecting the side effects of these treatments. DTC advertising is widely perceived as undermining the authority of physicians and threatening the patient/physician relationship.

With these thoughts in mind, we will reflect on whether DTC advertising of medications, and particularly treatments for lung cancer, serve a valuable need of improving patient education or promote an oversimplified message to incite patients to seek treatments that may not be optimal for them. Are concerns about protecting patients merely paternalism?

Join moderator @JackWestMD for a one hour #LCSM chat on Thursday, August 11th at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific) as we review these questions together:

  • T1: Does direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) help educate pts about options? Does DTCA improve awareness & destigmatize #LungCancer?
  • T2: Are concerns about DTCA oversimplifying message fair? Are ads balanced presentation of risk/benefit?
  • T3: What effect does DTCA have on pt/physician relationship? If harmful, do benefits of DTCA outweigh harm?
  • T4: Would you welcome DTCA about #LungCancer therapy/interventions as a growing trend, or are other countries right to prohibit it?

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.  Hope you’ll join us!


New York Times: Cancer-Drug Ads vs. Cancer-Drug Reality

#LCSM Chat topic 7/28: Happy birthday #LCSM–3 and thriving!

Happy 3rd Birthday LCSM

Please join the #LCSM Chat on Thursday, July 28, at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific) to celebrate our third birthday. We made it out of the “terrible twos” stronger than ever!

First, a little history….the #LCSM hashtag was originally used by @subatomicdoc (Matt Katz, MD) to represent Lung Cancer Social Media on June 22, 2013. The first-ever #LCSM Chat occurred on July 25, 2013.  Seventy-two patients, advocates, caregivers, family members, educators, healthcare providers, and researchers participated. The first #LCSM Chat topic question was “It’s our community. What do you hope to get out of #lcsm chat?”  The answers were diverse and wide-ranging, reflecting the interests of a broad-based lung cancer community. Most importantly, this platform was a revelation—no other forum allowed all stakeholders in the lung cancer community to communicate directly with each other.

Since that time #LCSM has come a long way. Last year, the #LCSM hashtag was used in over 73,000 tweets from 11,000 participants and generated over 258,000,000 impressions! Topics included such wide ranging and important subjects as “Sharing your story: talking points for lung cancer advocates”, “What does the lung cancer community expect from the new cancer moonshot program?”, “Doctor shopping in the age of social media”, and “Cancersplaining: navigating tough moments”. We have had a Google Hangout on Air, medical conference preps, joint chats with other cancer stakeholders, and even an “open mic” night to hear about what is important to all of you. Throughout all of this, our mission has remained the same: to use social media in an innovative manner to educate, develop public support, end the stigma, and facilitate successful treatments for the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

Members of the #LCSM Chat Founders shared their thoughts on reaching this milestone:

Lung Cancer Caregiver Laronica Conway (#LCSM Chat co-founder):

“Happy 3rd birthday #LCSM! It makes me so happy to see so many people reach out to #LCSM for assistance when they need guidance, support or just want to share information.  I had no idea how big of a role #LCSM would play in the lung cancer community, but I am so grateful to be a part of it.”

Thoracic oncologist H Jack West, MD (#LCSM Chat co-founder):

“#LCSM has come such a long way over 3 years! Happy birthday to a community that has galvanized people touched by lung cancer, ranging from patients to advocates and caregivers to physicians and other health care professionals, all over the world.”

Thoracic surgeon David Cooke, MD (#LCSM Chat co-founder):

“It’s been wonderful being involved with the #LCSM movement the past 3 years.  I am proud of its growth, and how it is bringing much needed awareness of lung cancer and the individuals who are affected by this terrible disease.”

Lung Cancer Caregiver Deana Hendrickson (#LCSM Chat co-founder):

“Three years ago, there wasn’t much about lung cancer on Twitter. Three years later, #LCSM is a welcoming virtual meeting place for every facet of the lung cancer community. #LCSM provides the support, fellowship, science, collaboration and sense of unified community that was so sorely lacking. So far, so good. Now, let’s work even harder to make it better!”

Lung Cancer Patient Janet Freeman-Daily (#LCSM Chat co-founder):

“I love how #LCSM enables communication across all groups within the lung cancer community.  This community continues to expand understanding of the disease and its impact, disseminate new research, and build collaborations – all are needed to defeat lung cancer.”

To celebrate our third birthday, Moderator @BrendonStilesMD will lead the #LCSM Chat in discussion of the following topics:

  • T1: How has #LCSM affected your understanding of #LungCancer?
  • T2: What were the most important news/events that happened regarding #LungCancer in the last year and how did #LCSM help to address those?
  • T3: How could #LCSM expand its role next year to increase #LungCancer awareness, advocacy, and research funding?
  • T4: Should #LCSM partner with other groups or social media stakeholders for future #LCSM events? If so, who and how?

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.  Hope you’ll join us to celebrate the third birthday of Lung Cancer Social Media!



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