ECCO Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Primary care

Variations in cancer outcomes across Europe have led to a growing emphasis on driving quality cancer care. The European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) has released a series of papers on the Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care that consist of checklists and explanations of organisation and actions that are necessary to give high-quality care to cancer patients. This paper specifically concerns the integration of primary care into care for all cancers in Europe. ECCO has highlighted the fact that primary care professionals play major roles in the diagnosis of cancer, and care of cancer patients. They also recognise that primary and community care are not often well integrated into cancer care. The paper highlights many opportunities for extending care at the primary level to cope with the increasing cancer burden, but also acknowledges significant barriers to progress towards high-quality patient-centred care. To meet the European aspirations for comprehensive cancer control, it is suggested that healthcare organisations must consider the requirements outlined in this paper, and include primary and community care in patient-centred pathways from diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.

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