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Cancer Fundamentals and Communication and Coordination of Care

What role do primary care practitioners have in cancer survivorship? Watch this video by Professor Jon Emery to find out.

As you will have just seen in the video above, as detection methods and treatment for cancer continue to improve, an increasing proportion of the population is living beyond their cancer diagnosis and treatment. What is clear is that we are now faced with a new challenge – how can we best support cancer survivors in the community? And what role do primary care practitioners play in this transition?

The statistics presented in this video come from Australia, but if you live and work in a different location, take some time now to look up cancer statistics on your region and report back your findings in the comments section below. Are there any comparable differences?

Historically, primary care was largely seen as peripheral, but with the increased emphasis on prevention, diagnosis, survivorship, palliative, and end of life care, the role of the primary care practitioner is becoming more integrated and complex. Primary care can be delivered through multidisciplinary teams in general practices, which contributes unique professional expertise to support the cancer patient. These multidisciplinary teams may include; general practitioners, general practice nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, exercise physiologists and others. More traditional models of survivorship care must be reconsidered as the number and complexity of patients living beyond cancer increases. With this increase in number and complexity of patients, having patients attending outpatient clinics for up to three years post-treatment completion is no longer sustainable.

Read the COSA Model of Survivorship Care (pages 8-12) and consider the fundamental principles underpinning all aspects of the COSA Model of Survivorship Care to discuss the following areas:

  • How it is done (coordinated, survivor-centred, integrated care across all service levels at every time point)?
  • What is done (promote, prevent, manage)?
  • Is available care accessible and equitable?
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Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners

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