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Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners

Many people are now living with and beyond cancer. This course will show you how to provide effective survivorship care.

6,383 enrolled on this course

The photo is of a female cancer patient walking on a garden path holding her young infant daughter. In the photo, the patient is holding a flower up to her daughter's nose.

Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners

6,383 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Understand the physical, psychosocial, financial effects of cancer

Cancer is a major burden of disease across the globe. Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with the illness.

This course will explore the importance of cancer survivorship, and show you how to develop an effective care plan for your patients.

You’ll learn about the psychosocial and emotional impact of having cancer, and the possible side effects of treatment.

You’ll find out about new and emerging cancer therapies, and the results on cancer survivors of various age groups.

You’ll understand the strain cancer puts on patients, healthcare systems, and primary care practitioners.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds What do we mean by cancer survivorship? What are the implications of the growing number of people living with cancer after treatment? on individuals, carers, on primary care practitioners, and on the health system? How will new cancer therapies impact cancer survivorship in the future? These are just some of the questions you’ll be encouraged to find answers to in this course. Hi, and welcome to the Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners Course. I’m Professor Jon Emery, Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the University of Melbourne. The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre is an alliance of 10 organisations involved in clinical care and research about cancer in Melbourne. And together, we’ve designed this course for you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds Over the next four weeks, you’ll be introduced to topics and ideas related to cancer survivorship. The course syllabus has been developed with GPs and practise nurses in mind, to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to apply the foundations of cancer survivorship to your current work setting. This course has been developed using an inquiry-based approach to learning. Using a dramatised illustrative case study, you’ll be guided through each stage of cancer survivorship care, providing a foundation for you to apply to your own work setting. The course also includes a variety of interactive learning activities to encourage you to not only engage with the course material, but with each other. So again, welcome to the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds We’re happy that you’ve decided to join us, and we hope you find this course rewarding, the resources useful, and that you embrace the opportunity to learn from each other.


  • Week 1

    Communication and Coordination of Care

    • What is cancer survivorship?

      'Cancer survivor' means different things to different people.

    • Transitioning patients from active treatment

      People experience the transition from patient to survivor in different ways. In this section, you will explore the growth in the number of cancer survivors and the implications of this on the PCP and the health system overall.

  • Week 2

    Supportive Care

    • Defining supportive care

      After completing this module, you will be able to define what supportive care means and what it encompasses.

    • Self-management

      In this section, you will explore self-management interventions and learn about the importance of empowering patients and their families to actively manage their care as they transition from primary treatment to survivorship.

    • Return to work

      For cancer survivors there are many benefits to returning to work. In this section you will explore how a PCP can support a patients transition back into the workforce.

  • Week 3

    Surveillance, Late and Long Term Effects & Palliative Care

    • Surveillance

      During this week of the course, you'll look at the function of surveillance in cancer survivors and examples of ways this can be applied to specific tumour streams.

    • Late and Long Term Effects

      Late effects of treatment or tumour type are those that happen years after the treatment finishes. In this activity, we'll look closer at the effects and how they vary according to the type and stage of cancer and treatment.

    • Palliative Care

      What does palliative care have to do with survivorship? Who is eligible for palliative care? And what services are available in palliative care? These are some of the questions we'll look to answer in this activity.

  • Week 4

    New Cancer Therapies

    • Future Cancer Care

      In this final week, you'll learn about and better understand: emerging therapies in the field of cancer treatment; advances in cancer care, and the role of clinical trials in facilitating advances in cancer treatment.

    • What does the future hold

      In this module, you'll hear from a number of experts about the current and future state of Cancer therapy.

Who is this accredited by?

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners:

This activity has been approved by the RACGP QI&CPD Program in the 2017 – 19 triennium 40 Category 1 points

Australian College of Nursing
Australian College of Nursing:

This course is endorsed by ACN according to our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Endorsed Course Standards according to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess cancer as a chronic disease and its burden on the patient, health system, society and the role of the Primary Care Practitioner
  • Apply the models of care, optimal care pathways and clinical guidelines that guide survivorship care
  • Evaluate the psychosocial impacts of cancer and its treatments
  • Identify the risk(s) of new primary, local or metastatic recurrences and their temporal pattern
  • Explain the consequences of cancer treatment on cancer survivors and the opportunities new therapies provide

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for primary healthcare providers including general practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals.

Who will you learn with?

Early-career medical oncologist based in Melbourne, Australia. Research interests in cancer survivorship (in particular amongst patients with metastatic cancer), and ethics of novel trial designs.

Who developed the course?

The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. We are Australia’s number one university and world leader in education, teaching and research excellence.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 40Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

VCCC Alliance

The VCCC Alliance is an alliance of ten Victorian organisations committed to cancer control.

Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

ACRRM logo

endorsed by

APNA 2019 logo

supported by

Victoria state government logo

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


For the first two months. Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$129/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 17 Jul 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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