Only 28 percent of 300 breast cancer survivors who participated in a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center felt their primary care physicians and oncologists communicated well together; and most were dissatisfied with their physicians’ knowledge of late effects of cancer therapies and ways to treat related symptoms. A survivorship plan may be the key to improving follow-up care.
“Getting primary care physicians involved in a comprehensive survivorship care plan is critical to delivering high quality, accessible care to diverse groups of cancer survivors,” said Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, the lead author of the study in a Jan. 21 press release. “Currently, however, lack of communication between oncologists and primary care physicians is felt by survivors to be a major limitation of our existing system, so treatment summaries or survivorship plans may serve as important tools to bridge the communication gap and improve care delivery by primary care physicians.”
The Abramson Cancer Center’s OncoLink allows cancer survivors worldwide to create survivorship care plans. The online program is free and provides information regarding the health risks cancer survivors face as a result of cancer therapies. It also encourages patients to review the plan with their health care team to further assess their risk and become active participants in their follow-up care.
This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. An abstract is available free of charge online.
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