Models of care for early-stage breast cancer in Canada
There is growing evidence that follow-up for patients with early breast cancer (EBC) can be effectively carried out by the primary health care provider if a plan is in place. Here, we present data from a recent survey conducted in Ontario indicating that a sharedcare model could work if communication between all health professionals involved in the care of EBC patients were to be improved. Patients and primary care providers benefit when the specialist provides written information about what their roles are and what to expect. Primary care providers need to have easy access to the specialist to discuss areas of concern. Patients also need to share responsibility for their care, ensuring that they attend follow-up visits on a regular basis and that they discuss areas of concern with their primary health care provider. A shared-care model has the potential to provide the best care for the least cost to the health system.