In this study, we used social network analysis to compare the Twitter social networks of top five cancers in the United States (as ranked by the CDC) to determine the key influencers in cancer-related conversations. We find that organizations and groups geared toward patients that provide patient support, promote cancer awareness, cancer prevention and cancer management comprised up to 40% of influencers. Researchers (24%) and physicians (14%) were also found to be influential participants; the extent of influence varying by each cancer, being as high as 40% research influence for colorectal cancer. Notably, scientific organizations (JAMA, CDC_cancer, AACR) played a key role in conversations about colorectal cancer whereas patient-focused organizations played a greater influencing role in conversations about prostate cancer and skin cancer. This study shows that Twitter data can be a valuable source of cancer surveillance data, and has potential to influence policies, strategies, and research directions around each cancer.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 email@example.com
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 firstname.lastname@example.org