publication date: Nov. 13, 2020

Trials & Tribulations

#BCSM: Breast cancer social media hashtag gives voice to a community

Deanna J. Attai

Deanna J. Attai, MD

Assistant clinical professor of surgery,

David Geffen School of Medicine,

University of California Los Angeles


Matthew S. Katz

Matthew S. Katz, MD

Radiation oncologist,

Department of Radiation Medicine,

Lowell General Hospital


When they decided to launch a weekly breast cancer chat on Twitter, all breast cancer survivors and advocates Alicia Staley and Jody Schoger had was a hashtag and a dream.1

Alicia and Jody met online in 2009, and quickly realized that while there were healthcare conversations taking place on Twitter, none were focused on the unique needs of those impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis. With the goals of providing support and education to those with a diagnosis or history of breast cancer, they started weekly chats on July 4th, 2011 using the hashtag #BCSM—breast cancer social media.

Since that time, the #BCSM hashtag has been used 830,925 times, by over 75,000 individuals2. Weekly chats have covered various topics, from treatment options for early stage and metastatic breast cancer, to survivorship concerns such as sexual health, late effects of therapy, and survivor’s guilt.

Physicians, researchers and advocates participating in the … Continue reading #BCSM: Breast cancer social media hashtag gives voice to a community

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