Authors: Salgia, Sabrina | Salgia, Nicholas | Prajapati, Sweta | Seghal, Ishaan | Bautista, Frank | Ruel, Nora | Salgia, Meghan | Salgia, Deborah A. | Salgia, Ravi | Pal, Sumanta K.
OBJECTIVES: To better characterize the relay of information about prostate, kidney, and bladder cancer on Twitter in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tweets containing the joint hashtags “#COVID-19” and either “#bladder cancer”, “#kidney cancer”, or “#prostate cancer” were identified on the Twitter platform from January 1, 2020 to July 30, 2020. The Twitter handle responsible for each tweet was categorized as an Academic, Medical Education, Patient Advocacy Groups/Non-Profits, Pharmaceutical, or Other entity based on content domain. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data on Twitter handle characteristics stratified by disease category (bladder, kidney, and prostate).
…Median/interquartile range and percentages were used to summarize continuous and categorical data, respectively. Number of tweets containing the relevant joint hashtags were tracked over time in relation to the cumulative United States case count of COVID-19. RESULTS: The content of 730 total tweets containing the joint hashtags “COVID-19” and either “#bladder cancer” (138 tweets), “#kidney cancer” (137 tweets), or “#prostate cancer” (455 tweets) from January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020 were analyzed. We identified 326 unique Twitter handles across all disease states (62 bladder, 47 kidney, and 217 prostate-related). Academic Twitter handles accounted for the greatest number of tweets containing the joint hashtags (31%). Temporal tracking of tweets with regard to monthly U.S. COVID cases revealed that communication surged in March of 2020 and peaked in April for both bladder and kidney cancer, whereas related prostate cancer Twitter communication peaked in May of 2020. CONCLUSIONS: As COVID-19 case counts rose in the United States initially, so too did communication surrounding COVID-19 and genitourinary cancers on Twitter. Many of these conversations were driven by academically-associated Twitter accounts.
Keywords: Bladder cancer, COVID-19, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, Twitter
Citation: Kidney Cancer,
vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 73-78, 2021