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ASCO 2013: Family Physicians’ Care of Cancer Patients

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The Particulars: More cancer patients are receiving ambulatory active treatment for lengthier periods than in years past. Research suggests that many patients experience additional comorbidities and require comprehensive care.

Data Breakdown: For a study, cancer patients responded to a survey that asked about the role of family practitioners (FPs) and oncologists in their care during times of active cancer treatment. According to results, 78% of patients reported that their FPs had enough time to devote to them, compared with an 85% rate for oncologists. FP involvement was deemed important to 76% of respondents. About 60% of patients reported that oncologists were capable of managing non-oncologic issues.

The study also found that 30% of patients reported that their oncologists communicated with their FPs. Another 72% of patients reported that they would first turn to an oncology institute when urgent issues developed.

Take Home Pearl: Optimal care for patients receiving chemotherapy appears to require collaboration between FPs and oncologists at the local and national levels.

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