Primary care provider involvement in thyroid cancer survivorship care

While prior research has examined how primary care providers (PCPs) can help care for breast and colon cancer survivors, little is known about the role of PCPs in thyroid cancer survivorship. Thus, this study surveyed 162 PCPs to understand their involvement and confidence in providing several aspects of thyroid cancer survivorship care. 76% of PCPs reported their involvement in long-term thyroid cancer surveillance, especially among those who believed that PCPs have the skills necessary to provide survivorship care, and found clinical guidelines to be the most influential in guiding treatment. Yet, despite many PCPs reporting their involvement in thyroid cancer long-term surveillance, the survey found PCPs lacked confidence in four aspects: when to refer patient to specialist, role of neck ultrasound, role of random thyroglobulin levels, and when to end long-term surveillance. As previously mentioned, guidelines were noted as important in influencing management; therefore, developing guidelines that clearly outlines PCP’s roles in thyroid cancer survivorship may present one opportunity to increase PCPs’ confidence about their participation.

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