UCSF Radiology Hosts #UCSFRadChat During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

In September, UCSF Radiology hosted a Live Twitter chat on prostate cancer - advances in diagnosis and treatment and what the community wants to know. The event coincided with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and followed a successful event cohosted with UCSF Urology that gathered an elite group of experts on prostate health to join in conversation with an interested audience. Twitter Chats are a great way to amplify and continue the great conversation following an event, as well as promoting awareness of important health topics to a larger, online, engaged audience. We invite you to see the online capture of our conversation by visiting #UCSFRadChat.

Overall, participation in the chat was strong with 39 total contributors tweeting before, during and after the live Twitter chat. Thanks to the generous support and participation of UCSF colleagues and community members active on Twitter, the potential number of viewers who could have seen the hashtag for this was 197,654. We estimate that about 1%, or nearly 2K individuals noted aspects of the conversation online. We are exploring the impact of conversations such as these on the understanding among community members overall. The diversity of views and the insights shared by both presenters and lay-audience members alike were meaningful. Event Chair, Antonio Westphalen, MD, PhD, a professor of Radiology in the Abdominal Imaging section and Urology, remarked, "Engaging with diverse audiences presents an important opportunity to both listen to and educate lay audiences, referrers and community members of all kinds. This exchange plays a powerful role in closing knowledge gaps and improving patient outcomes."

A special thank you to our panelists and participants. Our panel included four faculty members: Antonio Westphalen, MD, PhD, a professor of Radiology in the Abdominal Imaging section and Urology; Marc Kohli, MD, an associate professor of Radiology in the Abdominal Imaging section, Derek Sun, MD, an associate professor of Radiology in the Abdominal Imaging section, and Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH, a professor of Urology and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Helen Diller Family Chair in Urology. In addition, Lauren Bowling, MS, CGC and Barry Tong, MS, genetic counselors, provided valuable insight from the Kintalk at UCSF Twitter account (@KintalkUCSF) on the role of hereditary genetic testing for prostate cancer.

A few key takeaways:

  • The decision to get screened for prostate cancer depends on the patient's preferences and tolerance to risk, family history and discussion with the patient's physician.
  • Risk factors to be considered before screening include family history, age, and race (African American men have higher risk).
  • With that in mind, high risk men should begin testing between ages 45 and 50, and most men should consider baseline screening by age 50. Dr. Cooperberg shared a good resource from BMJ.
  • Multiparametric MRI has changed the way we diagnose prostate cancer, and it continues to evolve.
  • New diagnostic tests help with prostate cancer screening and detection. From there, doctors can biopsy these prostate cancer lesions using ultrasound biopsies fused with the data from the MRI exam to decide how to treat these patients or decide on active surveillance.
  • For all men, genetic testing can determine if male and female family members have a higher chance of developing certain cancers and provide options for early-detection or prevention.
  • The majority of prostate cancers happen by chance as part of the natural aging process. Only 5-10% of prostate cancers are hereditary at diagnosis, meaning they are caused by a change in a gene that was inherited from a parent.
  • There are two primary goals of hereditary genetic testing for prostate cancer:
    • Help to decide if we should do anything differently to detect and/or treat prostate cancer.
    • Help to decide if we can inform family members of their risk of developing cancer.
  • It's important for patients to ask for individualized information. Prostate cancer has a wide spectrum, and isn't just one disease.  We need to match treatment to disease severity. Some men with prostate cancer may not need initial treatment
  • Treatment of prostate cancer can be approached in different ways, whether by close monitoring through active surveillance and imaging versus one of several different treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy and, in select cases, even focal treatment (ablating the cancer with energy and leaving the non – cancerous part of the prostate intact.
  • Most communities have a local support group. One of the best ways to find these groups is by asking your physician.

To stay up-to-date on future Twitter Chat dates and times, check back on our blog, like us on Facebook and also follow us on Twitter (@UCSFimaging).

Related People