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Br J Cancer. 2009 Aug 18;101(4):568-74. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605160. Epub 2009 Jul 28.

Follow-up care for cancer survivors: the views of clinicians.

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Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, WhithamRoad, Sheffield S10 2SJ, UK.



Evidence for the efficacy of late effects surveillance in adult cancer survivors is lacking and there is little agreement among clinicians on appropriate follow-up care.


We report the views of both cancer experts and general practitioners (GPs) on long-term follow-up provision for cancer survivors, focussing on the 18-45 years age group. A total of 421 cancer experts (36% haematologists, 33% oncologists, 18% surgeons, 10% nurses, 2% other) and 54 GPs responded to a structured online survey. Reasons for follow-up care (clinical or supportive); advantages and disadvantages of follow-up in primary care; current practice; and resources required for a quality follow-up service were assessed.


Clinicians valued clinical reasons for follow-up more highly than supportive reasons (P<0.001). Learning more about late effects and checking for cancer recurrence were rated as the most important reasons for follow-up by cancer experts and GPs. A total of 85% of cancer specialists hold follow-up consultations alongside patients on active treatment. Cancer experts agreed that primary care follow-up would increase their availability for acute oncological care, but reduce information on late effects. The most important resource to provide a quality follow-up service was specialist nursing support (91%).


Follow-up guidelines that include late effects surveillance are needed. Where and who should deliver this care requires further debate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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