General practice is still somewhat adrift in the complex world of cancer services
General practice has not traditionally had a central role in cancer care. Typically, general practitioners have had the task of identifying and referring patients to specialists in a timely manner, but have stayed on the periphery of cancer care until patients reach the palliative stage. But the climate is changing — driven partly by the growing burden of cancer and the need to expand and diversify the workforce. The prevalence of cancer has increased substantially in Western countries,1,2 largely due to the ageing of the population: in Australia, by the age of 75 years, the risk of cancer is 1 in 3 in men and 1 in 4 in women.1
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