A Primary Care Initiative for Cancer Survivorship: A Case Study of Cancer in Obese Men

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Mamdouh M. Shubair
Selena Demenoff


men’s health, primary care, cancer survivorship, obesity, patient-oriented care, focus group, knowledge translation


Background: Men in rural and northern areas of Canada experience considerable challenges in health care access for chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and cancer. Obese men (body mass index/BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) in rural/remote northern British Columbia (BC) experience poorer health outcomes due to cancer risk compared to other men elsewhere in urban Canada.

Context: Challenges faced by men who develop cancer as a complication of being obese are paramount in terms of primary care treatment of their cancers. Oftentimes cancer treatment is multi-modal and complex. Models of shared care have been proposed to provide coordinated survivorship care to the growing population of rural male cancer patients suffering from obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS).


Objectives: The main objective of the study was to examine the type of cancer care programs that may have focused on men with cancer in northern British Columbia (BC). A secondary objective is to identify challenges in care experienced by men with cancer during their transition from in-hospital care back to their home communities.

Population: We conducted a comprehensive literature review and a qualitative focus group interview with primary care physicians (PCPs), oncologists (n=8), and a convenience sample of male cancer patients (n=6) who have underlying obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). We examined the types of cancer care programs that may have targeted such men. We further identified challenges experienced by male cancer patients while transitioning back to their home communities.

Results: The focus group results outlined themes speaking to a comprehensive shared care model that goes beyond surveillance of cancer recurrence in men with obesity.

Conclusion: A shared survivorship care plan or model integrates collaboration among specialists in clinical decision making and best practice for treatment of cancer in obese men.


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