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Community oncology: Ensuring the best standards of care
Date:2/20/2011

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a devastating experience. Still under the shock of the bad news, patients must make many choices including who to turn to for advice and treatment, with the possibility to choose among a comprehensive cancer center, a university hospital or a community oncology hospital.

"When my oncologist informed me about my blood results, and told me the diagnosis (Plasmocytoma), I was disoriented. As a patient I was looking for detailed answers to my many questions and I wanted time," explains Inge from Germany. "My doctor at the community oncology center explained everything to me: type of cancer, life expectancy, different treatments available and so on. To make it short, he helped me to understand what was going on with me. I was given a phone number to call at any time. The constant support of the whole team was essential to my recovery."

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) recently created a new working group dedicated to Community Oncologists. The group aims to represent professionals working outside academic institutions or comprehensive cancer centers, who treat patients with a wide range of tumors and whose practice needs and access to resources are very specific.

Dr Robert Eckert from Internistische Gemeinschaftspraxis und Onkologische Schwerpunktpraxis in Wendlingen, Germany, who chairs the ESMO Community Oncology Working Group, explains that the first step will be to conduct surveys in as many European countries as possible in order to identify the special needs of Community Oncologists. "This will be a challenging task because the situation varies greatly across Europe. So far, we have been able to show for a number of countries that Community Oncologists are interested in practice-oriented tools, primarily in guidelines and score calculators. They need to be able to access reliable, up-to-date information quickly at the point of care in their practice, which reflects their challenge of t
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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