Primary care use after cancer treatment: an analysis of linked administrative data

Earlier detection and improved treatments have led to dramatic increases in cancer survival. The rise in prevalence has led to a recognized need to focus on survivors’ care after cancer treatment, commonly referred to as follow-up care. Primary care–led follow-up is a safe and acceptable alternative to oncologist-led follow-up. This study sought to investigate patterns of primary care use during cancer follow-up care. They found that primary care use (both all reasons and cancer-specific reasons) was higher in survivors who continued to see their oncology teams for routine follow-up in comparison to those discharged to the community. This suggests that survivors who remain with their oncology teams after treatment continue to have high needs not met by the oncology team alone, and require further support from their general practitioner. Future research is needed to ensure coordinated, quality follow-up for the subpopulation of patients who continue to see oncology for their care.

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