#LCSM Chat Topic 11/05/2020: Celebrating Safely During #COVID-19 Pandemic

The #LCSM Chat on November 5, 2020, at 8 pm Eastern (5 pm Pacific) is open to all members of the cancer community.

As the leaves turns, daylight hours lessen, and the weather becomes cooler, we spend more time indoors. Our thoughts turn to holidays, a time when many expect to reunite with family and loved ones, and to celebrate with shared meals and warm embraces. However, as cases of COVID-19 are once again surging in almost every state, these activities present a serious risk for virus transmission.  COVID-19 is an even greater risk is for the lung cancer community, given the increased likelihood of severe disease and heightened mortality for lung cancer patients who contract COVID-19.

Thankfully, the pandemic does not mean we need to completely cancel our holiday celebrations. With advanced planning and knowledge of prudent precautions, we can take action to ensure a safe and COVID-19-free holiday season.

The Centers for Disease Control and other health experts have recently posted suggestions online and in the media for indoor activities and celebrating the holidays during this pandemic.  On November 5, 2020, at 8 pm Eastern time (5 pm Pacific), #LCSM Chat and the lung cancer community will discuss some of these suggestions with special guests Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, Executive Vice President of Research at LUNGevity Foundation, and Amy Moore, PhD, (@acmoorephd) Director of Science & Research at GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.  Dr. Basu Roy is responsible for setting strategy and overseeing LUNGevity’s scientific research awards programs, and has a background in cancer research and public health. Dr. Moore is a trained virologist and cancer scientist, and is a key member of an NCI-funded, multi-institutional effort led by Mt. Sinai that is studying the intersection of COVID-19 and lung cancer. Both have worked closely with lung cancer patients and researchers, and as lung cancer advocates.

 Our moderator Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily) will lead the discussion with these questions:

  • T1: What have we learned over the past 8 months about how COVID-19 is transmitted?
  • T2: How can people reduce the risk of COVID-19 during outdoor activities?
  • T3: How can people reduce the risk of COVID-19 when travel is involved? What about travel to or from hot spots?
  • T4: How safe is it to meet with family and friends who had COVID-19 and recovered?
  • T5: How can people reduce the risk of COVID-19 for indoor activities (shopping, dining in restaurants, family gatherings, worship services, etc.)?

Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom!  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.

#LCSM Chat Topic 10/01/2020: Crazy year, crazy progress–#lungcancer at #ESMO20

Without a doubt, 2020 has been overwhelming for many reasons.  Perhaps lost among the bigger news cycles of #COVID19, the presidential race, and now the Supreme Court, has been the staggering progress that has been made in #LungCancer through the year.  There has been a remarkable run of FDA approvals, including drugs for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with RET rearrangements and MET exon 14 mutations, new first line therapies for NSCLC with EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements, and new first line immunotherapy options for a variety of lung cancer scenarios.  This progress continued at the European Society of Medical Oncology’s virtual meeting (#ESMO20) at the end of September.  There was certainly a lot of buzz on #Twitter.  As indicated by this poll, lung cancer was arguably the hottest topic of cancer discussion at #ESMO20.  https://twitter.com/TargetedOnc/status/1308032846129442816

The lung cancer abstracts covered a variety of topics.  It is therefore worth reflecting upon several of the presentations from #ESMO20 and upon how they fit into the bigger picture of lung cancer care.  Our community is clearly benefiting from better drugs, better targeted to individual patients.  Critically, as alluded to in August by @NEJM, this is leading to better survival of our patients (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1916623).

With that remarkable progress in mind, please join moderator Dr. Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) for #LCSM Chat on Thursday, October 1st, at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific) to discuss the following hot topics:

  • T1.  What is happening with KRAS?
  • T2.  Are there any new targets or new drugs that are compelling?
  • T3.  Are these drugs leading to longer survival?  To cures?
  • T4.  What is happening in earlier stage lung cancer?
  • T5.  How are virtual conferences working out and how can patients/advocates participate?

Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom!  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.

#LCSM Chat Topic 9/3/2020: Is #Cancer Advocacy for Everyone?

The September 3 #LCSM Chat will tackle the issue of making time for cancer advocacy.

Most media outlets shared that “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer last week at age 43. He kept his illness a secret, and managed to complete several major film projects while dealing with surgeries and chemotherapy sessions.  While such a high-profile entertainer might have made a powerful colon cancer advocate, his choice to keep working as an actor has had (and continues to have) a positive impact on millions of lives internationally. It’s hard to justify saying he made the wrong choice by not becoming a cancer advocate.

Cancer advocacy is a choice that requires sacrifice.  Patients sacrifice privacy (by sharing their story publicly), energy that might be in short supply during treatment, and time that could be spent enjoying family and friends, working, and making memories.  Healthcare workers sacrifice personal time, which is already limited by their work caring for patients.

Yet cancer advocacy is also essential for raising funds for research, promoting needed changes in the healthcare system, and ensuring the best possible patient care options. Each potential advocate has to know their priorities and make their own choices about the best way to spend whatever time they have left on this earth.

Our next #LCSM Chat on September 3, 2020, at 8 pm Eastern time (5 pm Pacific.) will focus on sharing our experiences and challenges in finding time for cancer advocacy, and ideas on balancing priorities.  Research Advocate Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily) will moderate our discussion using the following questions:

  • T1: How do you define cancer advocacy? Is it advocating for yourself, other patients, one type of cancer, all cancers? Do all of these require the same skills, time commitment, education?
  • T2: What aspect of cancer advocacy is most meaningful for you: self advocacy, patient navigation, raising awareness, fundraising, codesigning research, increasing access to care, changing policy, other?
  • T3: What discourages you from participating in cancer advocacy?
  • T4: How does one juggle cancer advocacy with the other roles in life?  What factors do you consider when deciding how much time to spend on it?
  • T5: If someone told you they were interested in becoming a cancer advocate, what would you say to them?

Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom!  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.

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