Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 861–871 | Cite as

Cancer treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions: which cancer survivors receive them?

Original paper



Medically underserved subgroups of survivors bear a disproportionate burden of cancer-related health problems. Treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions are one possible strategy to address disparities in cancer-related health among cancer survivors. However, it is not known which cancer survivors receive these documents. This paper sought to identify and describe patterns in the receipt of treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions.


Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System’s 2010 cancer survivorship module were used for this study. This study involved 6,897 adult cancer survivors. Multivariate logistic regression was used to test for associations between survivor’s demographic and cancer-related factors and receipt of treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions.


Treatment summaries were received by 31 % of survivors. Demographic characteristics and type of health care provider were associated with treatment summaries (LR χ 2 (31) = 101.02, p < .001). Follow-up care instructions were received by 71 % percent of cancer survivors. Survivors’ demographic and cancer-related characteristics were associated with follow-up care instructions (LR χ 2 (31) = 231.51, p < .001). Written follow-up instructions were received by 66 % of survivors who reported receipt of follow-up instructions. Receipt of written follow-up instructions was associated with gender and age.


Demographic and cancer-related patterns exist in the receipt of treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions. These patterns map to documented gaps in survivor cancer-related outcomes. Research that tests associations between treatment summaries and follow-up care instructions and cancer-related health outcomes is needed.


Cancer survivorship Disparities Follow-up care instructions Treatment summaries 



This work was supported generously by the American Cancer Society Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grant #PFT-10-111-01-CPPB.

Conflict of interest

We have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health SciencesBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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