When primary care providers (PCPs) help patients choose prostate cancer treatment

The role of primary care providers (PCPs) – GPs, in cancer care generally focuses around screening, diagnosis and more recently survivorship. This study from the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has evaluated an emerging area of cancer care where GPs involvement has traditionally remained limited. This study evaluated men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and their interaction with GPs to help decide on their treatment. Participants were incentivised to participate and complete a survey. Overall, over 2300 out of 4672 eligible men participated with a 51.1% response rate. Over a third of participants reported receiving help from their GP in deciding how to treat their cancer. Receiving help from a GP was not associated with any differences in treatment patterns. A limitation of the study was that it was not able to investigate the ways in which GPs helped patients in choosing their treatment. The survey results suggest there may be opportunities to increase the role of GPs in treatment decision making in men with localised prostate cancer.  Exploring new collaborative decision making models between cancer specialists, GPs and patients could be valuable for men recently diagnosed with localised prostate cancer.

 

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