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

d of treatment, be it in hospitals, hospices or at home. This can be done by adhering strictly to guidelines be they national, regional or international, ensuring efficiency and appropriateness of treatment.

"Also important for a community oncology center is to be able to work connected to a regional system and to participate in research, noted Dr Ulrich Stein from Hamburg, who has worked both in France and Germany.

"The important thing is that community oncologists should not work alone. They should be part of a network and participate in a common reflection and also work with others in clinical research. In France, community oncologists work closely with university hospitals or big cancer centers and are in contact with larger teams. National and international guidelines are followed and ensure that patients receive quality treatment."

"Nowadays patients have access to a lot of information about cancer and about the quality of hospitals and clinics, thanks to the Internet. They will find out where the best centers are for their type of cancer. In France, for example, a patient may go to a big university hospital for surgery by a professor who specializes on a specific kind of tumor, then decide to go to a community oncology center for chemo and radiotherapy. Proximity may be an issue in some regions: some patients may want a community center closer to home, while others are willing to travel 80 km to be treated at a university center," explains Dr Stein.

Dr Stein believes that ESMO's new working group can help by making sure community oncologists are kept up to date with the latest treatments and by offering expert opinion on recent research. "By informing about what is going on in oncology, ESMO can help professionals learn from each other's experiences in Europe and beyond."

Dr Eckert also highlights the need for a real cross-border healthcare for Europe's increasingly mobile population. "I have had to follow patien
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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