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Childhood Cancer Survivors' Internists Often Don't Get Treatment Summaries — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 7, 2014

Childhood Cancer Survivors' Internists Often Don't Get Treatment Summaries

By Joe Elia

Internists caring for the adult survivors of childhood cancers are generally uncomfortable doing so and rarely have the benefit of treatment and follow-up summaries from pediatric oncologists, according to survey results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

An 18-question survey of some 1100 internists found that about half had cared for a survivor in the preceding 5 years, and three quarters of these reported never having received a treatment summary. Less than 20% were familiar with the heightened need for breast cancer and cardiac dysfunction surveillance among recipients of some radiation and chemotherapy. And only about 10% expressed any familiarity with follow-up guidelines.

Editorialists note that successful care of survivors of childhood cancers should ideally result from the shared efforts of oncologists, patients, and their internists. Below, we provide a link to the Children's Oncology Group's guidelines on long-term follow-up care.

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