Primary Care

  • Baukje Miedema


Due to improved diagnostic and treatment options, many cancer patients will become long-term cancer survivors. The efficacy and desire to involve primary health care into cancer follow-up care has been discussed for decades. There is overwhelming anecdotal evidence that this is a valuable model that will be cost-effective, reduces the strain on the tertiary health-care system, and has a high degree of satisfaction among patients and clinicians. Thus primary health care is in an excellent position to provide optimal care to the “whole cancer patient” including patients with comorbid conditions. A number of challenges and barriers have been identified that hinder primary health-care involvement with cancer follow-up care. For example, there is a lack of clinical guidelines for primary health-care providers; communication between primary health-care providers and other clinicians remains problematic; and health-care systems vary greatly between countries, regions, and even cities impeding a uniform approach. To date, the evidence for cancer follow-up care models that involve primary health care is scant. Thus the overall theory that primary health care has an important role to play in cancer follow-up care needs to be supported by more solid empirical evidence, so that best practices can be identified and implemented.


Primary health-care providers Cancer follow-up care Cancer survivors 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baukje Miedema
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineDalhousie UniversityFrederictonCanada

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