#LCSM Chat Topic 1/11: Defining “hope” for lung cancer

Ten years ago, patients diagnosed with lung cancer did not have much hope for effective treatment. Now targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and other treatment innovations offer hope that many more lung cancer patients might live for years beyond the old survival expectations.

Yet even with all the advances in medical care, not all lung cancer patients have access to the best treatment options, metastatic lung cancer patients are still not curable, and lung cancer patients still die.

Does this mean we have no hope?  No!

Hope means a lot of things. Hope can be as simple as finding comfort in the face of pain, or looking for the good in each day despite dire circumstances—it gives the person some control amidst the unknown. You beat cancer by how you live—that’s a win regardless of the health outcome. In contrast, false hope is telling someone that something will come true when you can’t know whether it will happen; in the world of metastatic cancer, such “hope” often leads people to make different choices than they might have made had they known the truth, and they might lose some valuable living time in the process.

Please join us on January 11 at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific, for our next #LCSM chat, where moderator Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily) will lead our discussion about defining hope using the following questions:

  • T1: How do you define “hope” for lung cancer? Does the definition differ for patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers?
  • T2: What is your definition of “hope” in cases where lung cancer is not curable?
  • T3: Has your definition of “hope” for lung cancer patients changed with time? If so, how?
  • T4: How can we help others find “hope” when they have none? What have you tried that worked?

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 12/14: #LCSM Community 2017 Highlights, Visions for 2018

By just about any measure, 2017 has been a banner year in lung cancer management for the lung cancer community.  Here is just a partial list of some of the key highlights:

  • Growing use of stereotactic ablative body radiation (SABR) for patients with unresectable early stage disease
  • Increasing momentum for local therapies, including surgery and/or radiation, for isolated residual disease after systemic therapy even for more advanced NSCLC
  • A likely new standard of care for unresectable stage III NSCLC, with addition of immunotherapy, after more than a decade without any treatments proven to improve clinical outcomes
  • Evolving standards for how to best integrate immunotherapy for stage IV NSCLC, with ever-improving survival numbers
  • Significant benefits from shifting later generation EGFR and ALK inhibitor therapies into first line treatment.
  • Mounting evidence to support a role for immunotherapy in treatment of small cell lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma.
  • Hints to help us better define which patients are more or less likely to benefit from immunotherapy.

Still, anybody working in lung cancer remains humbled by our ongoing challenges.  Not only should we remind ourselves and the rest of the world that #433aday in the US alone die of lung cancer, but lung cancer is still terribly under-recognized as the leading cause of cancer death for both women and men in the US and among the leading causes around the world.  This, along with the ever-present stigma throughout the general public that victims of lung cancer are less deserving of support and empathy because of the ties of the disease to tobacco, continues to leave lung cancer woefully underfunded in clinical research.

As we approach the end of 2017, please join #LCSM Community on 12/14 at 8 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific) to review our 2017 highlights and discuss what we envision for 2018.  Moderator Dr. Jack West (@JackWestMD) will help us cover the following questions:

  • From your personal perspective (doc, pt, caregiver), what were biggest developments in lung cancer in 2017?
  • Has the #LCSM community made meaningful strides in 2017 in overcoming long-standing challenges in how LC is perceived by others?
  • What are most likely big advances in lung cancer mgmt you anticipate or (realistically) hope to see as changes in 2018?
  • As an #LCSM community, what are key shortcomings WE need to address to advance developments in LC? How can we help ourselves?

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 11/30:  Expanding the web of knowledge in #lungcancer

We end lung cancer awareness month with a very interesting topic.  The next #LCSM Tweet Chat on Thursday, November 30th at 5 PM Pacific/ 8 PM Eastern will discuss “Expanding the web of knowledge in #lungcancer.” The moderator for this chat is Dr. David Tom Cooke (@DavidCookeMD).

There is a vast amount of information on the optimal treatments and approaches to beat lung cancer.  Whether it is lung cancer screening, surgery for early stage disease, SBRT for patients with early stage disease who are not candidates for surgery, the importance of molecular testing for tumors, opportunities for immunotherapy for advanced tumors, and the benefits of clinical trials; there is important information that must be spread or disseminated to patients, their families and healthcare providers.

Yet despite the readily available evidence based information, >80% of Americans are unaware that screening for lung cancer is recommended and covered by insurance at no cost for people who are at the highest risk (American Lung Association Lung Health Barometer).  In addition, <5% of adult cancer patients enroll in cancer clinical trials (Murthy VH, et al. JAMA. 2004)

#LCSM and social media has prided itself as a method of disseminating quality, evidenced based information to the lung cancer community.  This of course involves our tweet chats, but also our web page and Where to Find Trusted Lung Cancer Info tab.  However social media has its strengths and weakness in reaching all stakeholders.  For example only 34% of people 65 and older visit at least one social media site a year.  Women use social media more than men (72% compared to 66%), Whites and Hispanics more than Blacks (64% and 79% compared to 63%) and social media reaches only 60% of rural Americans.

On Thursday, November 30th, we hope to discuss what are good and not so good ways to disseminate lung cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment best practices?  Also during the process, perhaps we can generate new and innovative ideas!

With the above goals, here are questions that will be discussed during our November 30th Tweet Chat:

T1 What are the strengths of social media in spreading info about best and newer treatments of #lungcancer to patients?

T2 What are the weaknesses of social media in spreading info about best and newer treatments of #lungcancer to patients?

T3 What about doctors, care providers and hospital administrators in smaller community settings?  What is best way to disseminate up to date information?

T4 Should our approach change to disseminate #lungcancer information to patients in #rural communities?  What approaches might work the best to reach rural America?

T5 How do we measure the effectiveness of interventions for spreading information?

T6 What effective methods have you seen for spreading information about #lungcancer or other #cancers? Why are they effective?

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!

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