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Dr. Maurie Markman, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, on Primary Care Physician Awareness of Long-Term Chemotherapy Side Effects
Maurie Markman, MD, senior vice president for Clinical Affairs, National Director for Medical Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Eastern Regional Medical Center, discusses a large survey that will be presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Conference, focusing on primary care provider (PCPs) awareness of long-term side effects (LEs) in cancer survivors.
The survey demonstrated that many PCPs are not familiar with the recognized LEs of common chemotherapy drugs for colorectal and breast cancers. Markman notes that as the population of cancer survivors continues to grow, PCPs will become increasingly responsible for follow-up care.
The survey looked at a nationally representative sample of 1072 PCPs and 1130 oncologists and found that nearly all oncologists (95.3%) in the survey were able to identify LEs. In contrast, only half of PCPs recognized cardiac dysfunction as a result of Adriamycin and just over 21% connected peripheral neuropathy with oxaliplatin and Taxol.
The expressed lack of PCP knowledge of LEs is a recognizable defect, Markman notes. The survey demonstrates that additional education is necessary, in order for PCPs to be able to adequately identify LEs in cancer survivors.