The question: I’m in treatment for early-stage breast cancer. When it’s done, I’ll be sent to my general practitioner, whom I have little faith in. I’ve had excellent, patient-focused care from medical staff treating my cancer. Should I find a new doctor or stick with this one who, for better or worse, at least knows my history?
The answer: Given the background information you gave me on your GP – reluctant to order tests, not a good listener, dismissive – you are right to be concerned. I’ve seen how well oncologists advocate for their patients; your fondness for them is well placed.
A study published this year in the journal Current Oncology found that 87 per cent of early stage breast cancer patients surveyed in Ontario preferred to visit their cancer specialist for routine follow-up.
Like you, most cancer patients in Canada are sent back to their GPs. So long as a follow-up plan is in place, it’s the best way to provide good quality, cost-effective care.
Sandy Sehdev, a medical oncologist at William Osler Health System in Brampton, Ont., said cases such as yours can result from a patient feeling that the GP did not act rapidly on a lump. Other patients don’t [...] continue the story