Activity, content, contributors, and influencers of the twitter discussion on urologic oncology

Urol Oncol. 2016 Sep;34(9):377-83. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2016.02.021. Epub 2016 Mar 29.


Objectives: To analyse the activity, content, contributors, and influencers of the Twitter discussion on urologic oncology.

Materials and methods: We performed a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative Twitter analysis for the hashtags #prostatecancer, #bladdercancer, #kidneycancer, and #testicularcancer. Symplur was used to analyse activity over different time periods and the top influencers of the Twitter discussion. Tweet Archivist and Twitonomy analysis tools were used to assess characteristics of content and contributors.

Results: Twitter discussion on urologic oncology in 2014 contained 100,987 tweets created by 39,326 participants. Mean monthly tweet activity was 6,603±2,183 for #prostatecancer, 866±923 for #testicularcancer, 457±477 for #bladdercancer and 401±504 for #kidneycancer. Twitter activity increased by 41% in 2013 and by 122% in 2014. The content analysis detected awareness, cancer, and risk as frequently mentioned words in urologic oncology tweets. Prevalently used related hashtags were the general hashtag #cancer, awareness hashtags, and the respective cancer/urology tag ontology hashtags. Contributors originated from 41 countries on 6 continents and had a mean of 5,864±4,747 followers. They tweeted from platforms on exclusively mobile devices (39%) more frequently than from desktop devices (29%). Health care organizations accounted for 58% of the top influencers in all cancers. The largest proportion of physicians were among the #prostatecancer and #kidneycancer (each 9%) influencers and individual contributors were most frequent in the discussion on #kidneycancer (57%) and #testicularcancer (50%).

Conclusion: There is a significant and growing activity in the Twitter discussion on urologic oncology, particularly on #prostatecancer. The Twitter discussion is global, social, and mobile, and merits attention of stakeholders in health care as a promising communication tool.

Keywords: SoMe; Social media; Social network; Tweet; Urology.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology*
  • Physicians
  • Social Media*
  • Urology*