Same Issues in England
It is always comforting to me to realize that others share our concerns. There is nothing surprising in this article from the BBC about survivorship issues in England and the need for physicians to expand the conversation beyond the specific medical concerns. People completing cancer treatment the world over must share the same worries about returning to work, families, sexuality, energy, etc. The health care system is somewhat different in Britain, and GPs (general practitioners, similar to our PCPs) seem to do more of the oncology follow up than is generally true in the US. Studies here have suggested that women who are followed by their PCPs after breast cancer treatment do just as well as those who continue to see their medical oncologists, but that is generally not the system. I suspect, in the era of more attention to costs, that may become increasingly true here, too. It is less expensive to see the PCP than to see a specialist.
Here is an excerpt from the article and a link to read more:
Cancer survivor, Sonia Wilson: "I felt like I was on my own"
All cancer patients should receive a "recovery package" at the end of their treatment offering ongoing support, the Department of Health (DoH) has said.
Some three in four patients are not given enough information on coping with long-term effects of the illness, its report with a leading charity suggests.
It calls for care targeting patients' financial, mental and physical needs.
Health minister Anna Soubry urged the NHS in England and local NHS teams to take "urgent action".
The call comes as a national survey of cancer survivors indicated about a quarter of people were feeling isolated after being treated for the illness - according to the DoH.
And almost 30% said they had numerous issues that were not being addressed, including fears about their cancer spreading.
Macmillan Cancer Support, which helped develop proposals for a recovery plan, estimated that about 200,000 people were not getting a package of support following their treatment.