Oncologists Experience with Second Primary Cancer Screening: Current Practices and Barriers and Potential Solutions


Objectives: Screening for second primary cancer (SPC) is one of the key components of cancer survivorship care. The aim of the present study was to explore oncologists’ experience with promoting second primary cancer screening.
Methods: Two focus group interviews were conducted with 12 oncologists of diverse backgrounds. Recurrent issues were identified and placed into thematic categories.
Results: Most of the oncologists did not consider SPC screening promotion as their responsibility and did not cover it in routine care. All of the study participants had experience with unexpected SPC cases, and they were under emotional tress. There was no systematic manner of providing SPC screening. Oncologists usually prescribe SPC screening in response to patients’ requests, and there was no active promotion of SPC screening. Short consultation time, limited knowledge about cancer screening, no established guideline for SPC screening, and disagreement with patients about oncologists’ roles were major barriers to its promotion. An institution-based shared care model was suggested as a potential solution for promoting SPC screening given current oncology practices in Korea.
Conclusion: Oncologists could not effectively deal with the occurrence of SPC, and they were not actively promoting SPC screening. Lack of knowledge, limited health care resources, and no established guidelines were major barriers for promoting SPC screening to cancer survivors. More active involvement of oncologists and a systematic approach such as shared-care models would be necessary for promoting SPC screening considering increasing number of cancer survivors who are vulnerable.