Characterizing user demographics in posts related to breast, lung and colon cancer on Japanese twitter (X)

Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 18;14(1):6485. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-56679-x.


Various cancer-related information is spreading on social media. Our study aimed to examine the account types associated with cancer-related tweets (currently known as posts) on Twitter (currently known as X) in Japan, specifically focusing on breast, lung, and colon cancer. Using the Twitter application programming interface, we collected tweets containing keywords of the three cancers type in August-September 2022. The accounts were categorized into seven types: Survivor, Patient's family, Healthcare provider, Public organization, Private organization, News, and Other according to account name and texts. We analyzed the sources of the top 50 most liked and retweeted tweets. Out of 7753 identified tweets, breast cancer represented the majority (62.8%), followed by lung cancer (20.8%) and colon cancer (16.3%). Tweets came from 4976 accounts. Account types varied depending on the cancer type, with breast cancer topics more frequently from Survivor (16.0%) and lung cancer from Patient's family (16.3%). Healthcare provider and Public organization had minimal representation across three cancer types. The trends in the top 50 tweets mirrored the distribution of accounts for each cancer type. Breast cancer-related tweets had the highest frequency. There were few from public organizations. These findings emphasize the need to consider the characteristics of cancer-related information sources when sharing and gathering information on social media.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lung
  • Lung Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Social Media*