Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 2473–2479 | Cite as

Primary care physicians and oncologists are partners in cancer announcement

  • Marie-Eve Rougé Bugat
  • Christelle Omnes
  • Cyrille Delpierre
  • Emile Escourrou
  • Nathalie Boussier
  • Stéphane Oustric
  • Jean-Pierre Delord
  • Eric Bauvin
  • Pascale Grosclaude
Original Article



The primary care physician (PCP) is central to cancer patients’ management. Announcement of the diagnosis is a critical time for patients, even if they wish to be fully informed. The French National Cancer Plan, developed 10 years ago, includes a diagnosis disclosure procedure (DDP) to be used by oncologists, which makes specific provision for a time of communication with PCPs. So, we asked PCPs about their role in cancer announcement since the launching of the DDP.


A cross-sectional prospective study by postal questionnaire was sent to 500 PCPs in the largest region of France. It addressed (1) the characteristics of cancer disclosure, (2) PCPs’ source of information of the diagnosis, (3) time of disclosure, (4) information exchange, and (5) the physicians’ knowledge of the DDP.


The response rate was 48 %. In 20 % of cases, oncologists delegated the announcement to PCPs. In 19 % of cases, it was the patient or their family who informed the PCP of the diagnosis. We identified three announcement phases of cancer diagnosis in the physicians’ clinical practice: pre-disclosure, disclosure, and repeat disclosure. In 57 % of cases, PCPs lacked information on prognosis and in 60 % on treatment. Regarding the DDP, nearly half of PCPs did not know the procedure itself or its content.


PCPs announce the cancer diagnosis, even if they have not received the necessary information to do so. The DDP needs to be adapted for use in primary care practice.


General practice Disclosure Cancer Diagnosis disclosure procedure Announcement National Cancer Plan 



The Regional Union of Healthcare Professionals provided financial support for this study. We thank all the physicians who responded to the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Eve Rougé Bugat
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Christelle Omnes
    • 1
  • Cyrille Delpierre
    • 2
  • Emile Escourrou
    • 1
  • Nathalie Boussier
    • 1
  • Stéphane Oustric
    • 1
    • 6
  • Jean-Pierre Delord
    • 3
  • Eric Bauvin
    • 4
  • Pascale Grosclaude
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.University Department of General PracticeToulouse-Rangueil Faculty of MedicineToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Inserm U1027, Faculty of MedicineToulouseFrance
  3. 3.University Department of OncologyToulouse University Cancer Institute IUCT-OncopoleToulouse Cedex 9France
  4. 4.Regional Cancer Network Oncomip, IUCT-OncopoleToulouse Cedex 9France
  5. 5.Cancer Registry of the TarnAlbiFrance
  6. 6.Doctor’s officeToulouseFrance

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