It’s lung cancer awareness month and physicians, patients, caregivers and advocacy groups are coming online en masse to raise awareness for the number 1 cancer killer. Actually, they’ve been here for a long time. We’ve discussed online physician cancer conversations before and the unique communities that have risen in The Social Oncology Project and the #LCSM continues to be an exceptional story.
Since the first #LCSM twitter chat, online physician conversation about lung cancer has exploded. This year, physicians have tweeted about lung cancer or engaged in #LCSM twitter chats 10,105 times. 11% of that conversation happened this month over the past 20 days.
Why has it continued to grow and deepen?
It is undeniable that there is a real need for a participatory community. Lung cancer is a deadly disease with a lot of associated stigma and abysmally low funding for research. #LCSM is working to change this. Twitter provides a space for authentic interaction and is a platform from which to be heard, not only in small niche communities but globally. #LCSM provides structure, support and awareness to an otherwise amorphous online community.
Over the past year, physicians engaged with 1,448 unique accounts nearly 9,000 times. At the center of the physician network, the accounts that the most physicians interact with the most, are patients and advocacy organizations. Accounts like Janet Freeman Daily and Lung Cancer Faces. They each provide their respected expertise, share and vet resources with the network. The diversity of experience and knowledge of its participants makes the community stronger.
#LCSM continues to thrive by promoting awareness and creating an online space to discuss, learn, teach, advocate for patients, caregivers, advocates, physicians, nurses and the list goes on. Since it was created in 2013 and first used by physicians on Twitter, June 23, 2013, there has only been one day when they did not use the hashtag. Now that’s a close community.
You can explore the physician lung cancer twitter interactions from Nov.1-Nov.18, 2014 here.