Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survey Points Out Need For Education For Primary Care Physicians On Rarely Seen Cancers

Date:
December 11, 2007
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Many primary care physicians may lack the necessary knowledge when it comes to recognizing the signs, symptoms and making proper diagnoses in cases of blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, a recent survey indicates. Such findings not only reflect the challenges that primary care doctors face, but also may serve as a wake-up call for more education and training.

Many primary care physicians may lack the necessary knowledge when it comes to recognizing the signs, symptoms and making proper diagnoses in cases of blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, a recent survey indicates.

But co-author Richard Wender, M.D., professor and chair of Family and Community Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, says that such results are hardly surprising.

"The findings reflect the challenges that primary care doctors face," Dr. Wender says. "Primary care physicians see a lot of patients with a variety of symptoms, often which are rarely life threatening. In the case of leukemia, the symptoms -- anemia, lethargy, low-grade fever -- can be over a spectrum of severity and often non-specific."

While the results may serve as a wake-up call for more education and training, he notes, they should also point out the need for primary care physicians to be aware of a growing trend: cancer patients increasingly becoming long-term survivors who are at risk to develop second cancers years or decades later resulting from earlier cancer therapies as adults and in some cases, in childhood. The team reports its results December 10, 2007 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Atlanta.

"Our survey shows that there are a lot of education gaps -- which is not surprising since these are rare diseases," Dr. Wender says. "Yet many of these patients live a long time, and the primary care doctors have responsibility to help coordinate care. Leukemia survivors, and in particular lymphoma survivors, almost always return to the primary care doctor for their care eventually. It probably means we need better technology and access to information. There could be some opportunities to make some diagnoses earlier." No one knows, however, if earlier referrals would make a difference in patient survival for such diseases, he adds.

The survey was conducted by the Hematologic Oncology Primary Intervention Networking Group and for the Institute for Continuing Healthcare Education, part of a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-supported initiative. The group's goal is to help patients with blood cancers live beyond the five-year mark (often considered to be a cure) by educating primary care doctors on disease signs and symptoms and encouraging appropriate referrals to specialists. The group made presentations at primary care physician meetings, distributed educational material and conducted a survey.

In all, 357 individuals responded to the survey, either online or from educational booths at meetings. In one example, when asked how to monitor a 54-year-old Hodgkin's disease survivor for five years, only 44 percent gave the correct answer. Respondents showed a lack of knowledge regarding appropriate studies to order for patient presenting with specific lab tests and symptoms consistent with leukemia.

"This is a new area of study," Dr. Wender notes. "Primary care doctors have some shared responsibility in both cancer diagnosis and in the long-term followup."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Survey Points Out Need For Education For Primary Care Physicians On Rarely Seen Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214724.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2007, December 11). Survey Points Out Need For Education For Primary Care Physicians On Rarely Seen Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214724.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Survey Points Out Need For Education For Primary Care Physicians On Rarely Seen Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071210214724.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins