Follow-up paper

Clinical Oncology journal has published a paper titled

Comfort Blanket or Clinical Need? The Role of Follow-up for Cancer Survivors

detailing responses to a questionnaire devised by the Independent Cancer Patients’ Voice and National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Liaison Group last February.

Having completed the questionnaire, I wrote to Sarcoma UK saying that

Q16 There is increasing evidence to suggest that regular routine follow-up is of little benefit to some cancer patients. Many are now being discharged back to GPs after their primary treatment (eg surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy), but with rapid access to appropriate healthcare professional if/when needed.

is worrying and not applicable to sarcoma patients. In a very informative response, Sarcoma UK agreed with me saying that the questionnaire is more applicable to breast cancer patients and reassured me that it wasn’t applicable to sarcoma patients.

The paper has a section on GP follow-up and, whilst only 5% of patients had experience of this, nearly 50% say it isn’t a good model. This response

I can’t state strongly enough that I think this is not a good direction. General practitioners have little knowledge about cancer except the basics in my experience and it is frightening to think that this might be the way things go.

is precisely what I was thinking.

The paper is an interesting read and has no medical jargon so is easy to follow. A PDF download is available on the site which may be easier to read and print.

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