Mary Reid, MSPH,PhD, shares the recurrence rate of cancers and the importance of getting screened. Reid also shares how essential it is for primary care physicians for being up to date on cancer screening guidelines as they are the first in defense in cancer screenings.
I'm a I'm a doctor, Mary Read. I'm the chief and director of cancer screening and survivorship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York. 20% of all new cancers arise in people who already had a cancer. So, you know, if you already had the ability to grow solid tumor, uh, you have the ability to grow other solid tumors. Whether you do or not is partly in terms of your treatment and partly in terms of your whole, you know, system and wellness and prevention. But we know that this is a very high risk group, and it's not a matter of just recurrence, you know, we're talking second primaries, so you know, if someone survived breast cancer, but they continue to smoke or they have a smoking history, they must get lung cancer screening again because we already know that their body let a tumor grow out of control and and they had to have treatment. And we don't really know, you know, with the 20 million survivors that we have in the US, you know, mapping out the pattern of second primaries is still, you know, work in progress. But we know they're there I the other you know, primary care physicians and providers just in general. All of them have always been the place where screening happens. They're very familiar. They may need to be updated on the latest guidelines, and that's something you know that a cancer center can certainly help with because those guidelines change. But it's very natural for your primary care physician to recommend you go for screening. One of the issues is, and this is not insignificant is that when you've had a cancer, you don't want another cancer, and it's kind of like if you don't screen, you're not gonna pick up a second cancer. The thing that we think is that how tragic is it that you survive a cancer and then you succumb to a preventable cancer that would have been easy to treat. Getting back on the screening horse is hard. It's not trivial. Patients have a lot of scans. I ity when they've survived cancer. Even Ifit's getting a second colonoscopy after colon cancer. If it's getting a C T for anything, uh, there's a lot of anxiety, and so even for primary care physicians, now they have to really push. But getting, you know, that these air, these represent 20% of all new cancers diagnosed in the U. S. So we must get them onto all of the cancers that could be screened. And be aware that, for instance, lymphoma survivors, you know there is a really bad cancer. They survive their risk of a second solid primary. It's five times their normal population. And so again it behooves us as a cancer center to share this information with primary care physicians. So they're really aware of how important screening is. And, you know, uh, they have to make sure that if they get schedule a mammogram, the patient shows up and gets the mammogram. I mean, every visit has to be followed with making sure that they adhered to to what the guidelines are. The transition from oncology. You know, getting into rehabilitation and really seeing your primary care physician as the manager of your health is really important. And, you know, one of the reasons why Roswell Park developed a survivorship clinic is because we wanted aid in that transition, that translation of what happened and what risks the patient has for other S. E. Coli for managing their current sequel, and what they risk they have for other co morbidity is like cardiac or G I or other cancers. We've done this very intentionally. Thea. Other part of it is that there are a lot of support services that cancer patients should and do, at least through our program, take advantage of we. We have a lot of psychology. We have social work support. We have acupuncture and reiki and some of the things that yoga. Because patients want non pharmacologic treatments for some of the things that ailed them stress, you know, control with mindfulness. They don't want to take more drugs in general. And we knew. We know this is true of about 80% of patients undergoing treatment, but we wanna be able to network people into the support services. And then, as we do this transfer or this sharing of care for survivor ships with the primary, we wanna make sure the patients understand resource is in their community. That might help them get through it. And then we work as a team with the primary care physician to really manage the patient in the best way and also provide a resource because if something strange comes up, we want that primary care to be ableto very easily, you know, get in touch with us to see. Is this normal? Is this something I should be following up? Should we reschedule them at Roswell with their oncologist? Also, keeping people in this sort of transition clinic gives patients I think, the ease of not being too far away from oncology because they've grown kind of dependent on knowing someone's checking on their cancer. But, um, so they're not really far away. It's very easy for us to refer them back or referring to a new clinic. I would say that it's true of our program. We will see survivors regardless of where they're treated. Uh, this is a really special program. We're getting rave reviews from patients. We give them a complete physical exam head to toe, so we know exactly where they're starting. When we see them the first time on, we contract that you're you're in and you're out so that if you know some late stage 10 years later, they developed some, uh, side effect. We know you know when that happens, and we can treat it most effectively. But I would say that it's really important for survivors to go to a place where someone is actually just looking at the effects of cancer treatment and can communicate that back with your primary care doctor. Because again, primary care is the bedrock of patients care on all chronic diseases, including cancer, and we just want to really make sure that we're supporting them and supporting this transition for their patients.