#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.

#LCSM Chat Topic 8/6/2020: Update on #COVID19 and #LungCancer

#LCSM Chat last discussed COVID-19 and lung cancer in its April 2nd Chat. Much has changed in a mere four months. The USA has had about 4.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 150,000 deaths to date. We have a better understanding of some things related to COVID-19, yet we know more is unknown. The public’s patience with lockdowns and preventative measures wears thin. With each passing day, our necessary human social interactions become more distant, which is harmful to all in the lung cancer community. The strain on some hospitals and clinics has been extreme, and the stress on lung cancer patients, their families, and healthcare providers continues to be significant. Yet the pandemic is expected to last well into 2021.

Lung cancer patients (as well as the physicians and family members) fear COVID-19 infection may worsen the patient’s disease or symptoms, putting them at greater risk for complications, or even dying. Despite this, lung cancer patients still require diagnosis, therapy, and monitoring, and need appointments at a time when their clinic may be struggling.

Now that we have a somewhat better understanding of COVID-19 as well as perspective gained from experience, #LCSM Chat will tackle this topic again on August 6, 2020, at 8 pm Eastern time (5 pm Pacific.) Let’s share experiences, concerns, ideas, and hope with each other. Dr. Timothy Allen (@TimAllenMDJD) will moderate our discussion on the following questions:

  • Are lung cancer patients at higher risk of getting COVID-19, or of having more severe symptoms?
  • Is fear of COVID-19 keeping you or your family member from seeking care for lung cancer or other health conditions?
  • Have you or your family member (or your patients) had problems getting lung cancer diagnosis, treatment or follow up because of COVID-19 concerns at your clinic?
  • What are your greatest concerns about COVID-19 as a member of the lung cancer community?
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic extends for many more months, how will this affect your outlook for lung cancer patients, and how can negative impacts be minimized?

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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