For a study, researchers sought to understand that to provide continuity of care; there is a scarcity of oncologists as the number of cancer survivors rises. In addition to the written materials given to cancer survivors before care transfer, the study looked at the doctors who handled the majority of the survivors’ medical needs. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, sponsored by the CDC, was used to collect the data. Investigators only included states in their analysis that had respondents who had successfully completed a cancer survivor module between 2016 and 2020. The main results were the proportion of survivors who received written summaries of their care and instructions; most of their following medical care was given by a physician specialist. About 33 states contributed to the 36,737 cancer survivor respondents. Family doctors (42.3%, 95% CI 41.3-43.2%) and general internists (26.0%, 95% CI 25.2-26.9%) provided the majority of their medical care. Regardless of cancer type, fewer patients remembered receiving summaries of their cancer treatments when they were seen by primary care physicians as opposed to subspecialists (44.3%, 95% CI: 42.5 to 46.2 vs. 50.5%, 95% CI: 49.4 to 51.7%) or follow-up instructions (69.9%, 95% CI: 68.8 to 71.0% vs. 78.7%, 95%CI: 77.1 to 80.2%). Regardless of their cancer, two-thirds of survivors relied heavily on primary care doctors for their medical care. Prioritizing and individualizing patients’ understandings and needs through collaborative community-based care provided within a shared decision-making framework is crucial in this expanding demography.

Source: jabfm.org/content/35/4/708