Reuters, May 18, 2012

Many of the 12 million Americans who have beaten cancer get routine care from primary care doctors, but a new survey suggests the vast majority of these physicians have very little knowledge about the long-term side effects these patients face. The survey of more than 1,000 primary care doctors—internists, family practitioners and gynecologists—found that few were aware of the key side effects such as heart problems, nerve damage and early menopause caused by four standard chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast and colorectal cancers. The findings, released on Wednesday ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting next month, underscore the need for better communication between cancer specialists and primary care doctors.

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