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Substantial utilization of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram in the prostate cancer community



To measure the usage rate of social media (SoMe) resources in the prostate cancer community, we performed a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative assessment of SoMe activity on the topic of PCa on the four most frequented platforms.


We scanned the SoMe platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram for “prostate cancer” as a cross-sectional analysis or during a defined time period. Sources were included if their communication centered on PCa by title and content. We assessed activity measurements for each SoMe source and classified the sources into six functional categories.


We identified 99 PCa-related Facebook groups that amassed 31,262 members and 90 Facebook pages with 283,996 “likes”. On YouTube, we found 536 PCa videos accounting for 43,966,634 views, 52,655 likes, 8597 dislikes, and 12,393 comments. During a 1-year time period, 32,537 users generated 110,971 tweets on #ProstateCancer on Twitter, providing over 544 million impressions. During a 1-month time period, 638 contributors posted 1081 posts on Instagram, generating over 22,000 likes and 4,748,159 impressions. Among six functional categories, general information/support dominated the SoMe landscape on all SoMe platforms.


SoMe activity on the topic of PCa on the four most frequented platforms is high. Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and Twitter tweets are mainly used for giving general information on PCa and education. High SoMe utilization in the PCa community underlines its future role for communication of PCa.

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Author information

JPS (main author): project/protocol development, data collection and management, data analysis, and manuscript writing/editing. FS: data collection. MWK: manuscript editing. IT: manuscript editing. AH: manuscript editing. AH: manuscript editing. ASM: manuscript editing. JS (senior author): project development, data collection, and manuscript editing. HB (senior author): project development, data collection, and manuscript editing.

Correspondence to J. P. Struck.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Since public available data were analyzed, no special informed consent was obtained. All individual participants included in the analysis agreed to the terms and conditions of the different SoMe platforms.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary figure 1 (A-D) Prostate cancer on Social Media in functional categories: A Facebook groups, B Facebook pages, C YouTube videos, D top 100 twitter links (coloured version on the web) (PDF 21 kb)

Supplementary figure 2 (A-F) #ProstateCancer on Twitter: A activity summary and impressions, B participation rate of contributors, C engagement of posts D top 20 of the words tweeted E Geolocations of contributing twitter users F devices and clients for twitter use (coloured version on the web) (PDF 615 kb)

Supplementary figure 3 (A-C) #ProstateCancer on Instagram: A activity summary and impressions, B participation rate of contributors, C engagement of posts (coloured version on the web) (PDF 268 kb)

Supplementary tables 1-3 (DOCX 101 kb)

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Struck, J.P., Siegel, F., Kramer, M.W. et al. Substantial utilization of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram in the prostate cancer community. World J Urol 36, 1241–1246 (2018).

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  • Prostate cancer
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram