#LCSM Chat Topic 1/26: Education and Shared Decision Making for Cancer Patients in the Era of Fake News and Post-Truths


Though there are many terrific features of social media and sharing of information among patients and caregivers, the last year has also reminded us of the potential harms of easy sharing of misinformation.  “Fake news” may have always been a potential threat, but the decentralization of information sources and “hyper-partisanship” makes it very easy for people to seek information primarily if not exclusively from sources that feed our own biases rather than challenging them with new perspectives.

Though the media have largely focused the concept of fake news and post-truths through the lens of politics, fake news is a tremendous challenge to good patient education and patient/physician communication.  Fake news, as well as its little brother, excessive and unjustified media hype, also drain the limited resource of time from clinic visits as physicians struggle to counter misinformation and redirect patients to more evidence-based treatments. At the same time, physicians may also fall prey to their own biases and make recommendations based on dubious sources.

Like the anti-vaccine campaign that has been definitively proven to be predicated on misinformation but remains widely perpetuated, cancer care is replete with concepts like alkaline therapy, the Gerson diet, antineoplastons, and cannabis oil as cancer treatments that are widely disseminated despite no clinical evidence beyond testimonials. Many of these have been around for decades, remaining unproven if not conclusively proven to offer no benefit. Social media and online communities facilitate the perpetuation of any kind of information, including myth as well as fact. It has been challenging to try to filter off the misinformation or train people to reliably identify more questionable sources of content, particularly if it says what people want to hear.

This Thursday, January 26th, at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific, our #LCSM chat will turn to the question of how the lung cancer community, including patients, caregivers, and physicians, can try to raise the quality of shared information and better filter the fake news and misinformation from genuine, fact and evidence-based treatment recommendations.  We will explore the following questions:

T1) Are unproven/disproved treatments “alternative truths” or “fake news”? Is there room for them alongside evidence-based options?

T2) Is myth favored over fact due to poor education or wrong sources of info? Do many pts seek info only from fake news sources?

T3) Are there ways to reliably identify what should be considered most credible sources of info about cancer treatments?

T4) Are there ways to counter cancer misinformation? Are pts/caregivers better equipped to do as “peers”, or docs in clinic visits?

This should be a dynamic discussion, so we hope you’ll join us for the #LCSM chat on Thursday, 1/26.  Please remember to include #lcsm in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can also read a primer on participating in the chat .

#LCSM Chat Topic 1/12 (2017)–“Lung cancer: who is at risk?”


Please join the #lcsm community and moderator @BrendonStilesMD for our first #LCSM Chat of 2017 on Thursday, January 12th, at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific).  The topic of the chat will be “Lung cancer: who is at risk?”

Many in our own #lcsm community have either had lung cancer themselves or have family members who have been affected.  It is common therefore to wonder “Is my family at risk?” or “Am I next?

While exposure to tobacco smoke is the most well-known risk factor for lung cancer, other significant risk factors exist.  With that in mind, in this week’s chat we aim to identify and explain known predisposing factors for the development of lung cancer, from environmental causes to genetic risk.  We also hope to give participants an understanding of how the probability of developing lung cancer in different groups of patients has been used to determine who is eligible for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer.  As such, we will review current screening recommendations and guidelines.  We will also discuss the chances that a lung nodule identified on radiologic imaging could actually be lung cancer and explain the Lung-RADS assessment system that radiologists use to classify lung nodules.

We will cover the following topics and questions:

T1:  What are the risk factors for lung cancer and how can they be identified and mitigated in individuals?  Are family members at risk?

T2:  Who should be screened for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography?

T3:  What happens if a lung nodule is found on CT screening or on other radiologic studies?

We are excited to have you join us for this #LCSM Chat.  Patients and their families frequently ask about lung cancer risk.  Obviously, it is a significant concern for many of you in the #lcsm community. Please join us this Thursday and 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.

“What I Like About the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer” (#LCSM Chat on FB Live)

During a reception at the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria, #LCSM Chat co-moderator Janet Freeman-Daily asked other lung cancer patients and advocates what they liked most about the conference.  Their responses were captured via Facebook Live on the  Lung Cancer Social Media #LCSM Chat Facebook page December 4, 2016.


Thanks to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) for their cooperation in making this video.


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