Amsterdam--February 2, 2016 – Breast cancer patients and prostate cancer patients talk very differently about their cancer online and receive significantly different levels of online support, according to social listening research* commissioned by Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe and published ahead of World Cancer Day on Saturday, 4th February. Based on this research, Teva has launched an online cancer portal called My Day (MyDay.eu.com) that aims to help cancer patients and their caregivers learn about their condition, connect with their online support community, and have productive discussions with their physicians. The website, named ‘My Day’ to reflect the unique journey each cancer patient experiences, is guided by an independent, medical advisory board to ensure the portal provides content of value to cancer patients and their physicians.
My Day editorial board member, Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield, cancer psychologist and professor of psycho-oncology at the University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K. explains: “Newly diagnosed patients have to assimilate large amounts of information against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty. They have to appreciate the important issues that pertain to their particular condition, including the logic and rationale behind recommendations about treatment options before making informed decisions. Navigating the intricacies of healthcare systems can be another source of stress. Online materials need to embrace the emotional context within which information is provided.”
In commenting on the launch of the My Day portal,
Teva commissioned the social listening research to understand how conversations about cancer happen online. The study included an analytics or computational assessment of over 21,000 cancer posts as well as close linguistic analysis of over 700 prostate and breast cancer posts. The analysis showed that prostate cancer patients used less emotional language in their online conversations compared to breast cancer patients, focusing on the technical details of their cancer. The analysis also highlighted how women appeared much more active online in talking about cancer than men. The research showed that for prostate cancer, 65% of online conversations were in fact by their caregivers (i.e. wives, partners, family members of prostate cancer sufferers), whereas for breast cancer, only 17% of online conversations were by the husbands, partners, family members and other caregivers of breast cancer sufferers. This implies women with breast cancer seem to have far less online support or involvement by their caregivers.
Online comments by patients and their caregivers were also linguistically
These differences between breast and prostate cancer conversations may partly be attributed to differences in the progression, diagnosis and treatments of these two types of cancer. Prostate cancer is typically treated with a watch-and-wait approach, delaying time to prostatectomy to preserve
However, for breast cancer patients, the complexity of tumour types and the lack of relatively simple assessment tools may make it more difficult for women to share ‘technical details’ of their cancer online. Women with breast cancer often reported they were not told by their healthcare professionals the path forward and that they were surprised by secondary treatments prescribed without forewarning. The breast cancer discussions indicated physicians frequently recommended unilateral mastectomies followed by hormone treatment or chemotherapy. Breast cancer patients did also go online to crowd-
The European cancer portal MyDay.eu.com was launched in late 2016 with local language versions of the portal being launched in individual European countries during the course of 2017.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Europe commissioned Treato, a healthcare data-analytics firm, to carry out the social listening research. Treato identified 21,030 online posts from 2013 to 2016. Of these, just under 3,000 posts (2,984) were pulled for closer reading, and just under 1,500 posts (1,444) were chosen for the analysis. The analysis focused on four types of cancer – breast, lung, lymphoma and prostate. For breast cancer, analysts identified 7,826 posts from such online forums as breastcancercare.org.uk. They
MyDay.eu.com is an online cancer portal providing information on cancer and links to related cancer resources for people who have been recently diagnosed with cancer, are receiving treatment, or who are in remission. The portal provides patients and their caregivers with three types of content: 1) Patient stories, patient portraits and emotional content to support recently diagnosed patients in having difficult conversations – such as when informing friends and family of their illness; 2) Information on cancer itself – to help patients and caregivers navigate through the maze of cancer information online to learn more about their condition; and 3) Health & well-being information, such as dietary and nutritional information including recipes and patient tools such as goal trackers, appointment reminders and medication trackers.
With its European headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Teva is Europe’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging its portfolio of more than 1,800 molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area to help patients in nearly forty countries across the region. In