Risk Stratification and Cancer Follow-Up: Towards More Personalized Post-Treatment Care in Canada Journal Articles uri icon

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  • After treatment, cancer survivors require ongoing, comprehensive care to improve quality of life, reduce disability, limit complications, and restore function. In Canada and internationally, follow-up care continues to be delivered most often by oncologists in institution-based settings. There is extensive evidence to demonstrate that this model of care does not work well for many survivors or our cancer systems. Randomized controlled trials have clearly demonstrated that alternate approaches to follow-up care are equivalent to oncologist-led follow-up in terms of patient outcomes, such as recurrence, survival, and quality of life in a number of common cancers. In this paper, we discuss the state of follow-up care for survivors of prevalent cancers and the need for more personalized models of follow-up. Indeed, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to post-treatment follow-up care, and more personalized approaches to follow-up that are based on individual risks and needs after cancer treatment are warranted. Canada lags behind when it comes to personalizing follow-up care for cancer survivors. There are many reasons for this, including difficulty in determining who is best served by different follow-up pathways, a paucity of evidence-informed self-management education and supports for most survivors, poorly developed IT solutions and systems, and uneven coordination of care. Using implementation science theories, approaches, and methods may help in addressing these challenges and delineating what might work best in particular settings and circumstances.


  • Urquhart, Robin
  • Cordoba, Wendy
  • Bender, Jackie
  • Cuthbert, Colleen
  • Easley, Julie
  • Howell, Doris
  • Kaal, Julia
  • Kendell, Cynthia
  • Radford, Samantha
  • Sussman, Jonathan

publication date

  • May 3, 2022