Real Chemistry

Social media can be a pivotal tool in encouraging young adults to get early cancer screenings, according to a new report from Real Chemistry.

The study notes the impact of influencers, in particular, on boosting public engagement and highlighting the value of early detection, routine screenings and the support of online communities during health challenges.

More than nine out of 10 survey respondents (93 percent) said that they would be likely to ask their prescriber about information provided by an influencer, while 85 percent indicated that they would trust a pharmaceutical brand or advertisement if it were promoted by a patient influencer.

The attention that can be brought to the condition by high-profile influencers, the study says, is especially strong. For example, when the actress Olivia Munn revealed her breast cancer diagnosis on March 13, the news generated 163 videos, inspiring discussions among OB/GYNs and oncologists about early detection and risk assessment on Instagram and TikTok.

Real Chemistry Study

That power is highly important in light of the increasing cancer rates among young adults. The study cites statistics reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association that show a 1-2 percent annual increase in cancer rates for people under 50.

Real Chemistry’s report notes that women’s cancers are much more prominent in the online conversation. The numbers it provides for 2023 reveal that 48 percent of those conversations center on breast cancer, with cervical cancer accounting for 22 percent. Colorectal cancer (15 percent), prostate cancer (11 percent) and skin cancer (4 percent) were also mentioned.

The study suggests several strategies for communicators who want to make an impact on cancers screening rates. Those include developing content that helps dispel misinformation and tells patients what they can expect from the screening process, as well as targeting and personalizing communications with an easy and clickable call to action.

Real Chemistry’s report used AI-driven, proprietary social media measurement and social listening platforms to examine conversations about early cancer screening.