How social media can reveal overlooked drug reactions

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When patients connect online, they often share information that reveals how treatments work in the real world.

When Allison Ruddick was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in October 2014, she turned to the world of hashtags.

After her initial diagnosis it wasn’t clear if the cancer had metastasized, so she was in for a nerve-wracking wait, she says. She wanted outside advice. “But they don’t really give you a handbook, so you search kind of anywhere for answers,” Ruddick says. “Social media was one of the first places I went.”

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