HealthDay News – More effort is needed to improve the follow-up care of cancer patients, according to researchers.

To assess the practice of survivorship care for cancer patients, Danielle Blanch-Hartigan, PhD, MPH and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute surveyed 1,130 oncologists and 1,020 primary care physicians.

Only 12% of PCPs reported regularly discussing survivorship care recommendation, the researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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A majority of oncologists (64%) reported always or almost always discussing recommendations for survivorship care with cancer survivors, whereas 32% of oncologists discussed providers for cancer-related and other follow-up care. Less than 5% of oncologists reported providing a written survivorship care plan.

Oncologists who reported having detailed training about late and long-term effects of cancer were more likely to provide written survivorship care plans (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.22-2.44) and discussed survivorship care (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.51-2.70). 

PCPs who received survivorship care plans from oncologists were more likely to report discussing survivorship with patients (OR, 9.22; 95% CI, 5.74-14.82).

“These nationally representative data provide a useful benchmark to assess implementation of new efforts to improve the follow-up care of survivors,” noted the researchers.


  1. Blanch-Hartigan, D et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2014; doi: 10.1200/JCO.2013.51.7540