Treatment & Side Effects

The role of the general practitioner in cancer care is evolving. In addition to the long-standing and well-established role of the GP in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, support and palliation, GPs are now playing a larger role in treatment and follow-up (McAvoy 2007). This includes haematological and biochemical tests prior to chemotherapy cycles and the management of side effects. Following active treatment, GPs are increasingly involved in survivorship care and palliative care (Mitchell 2008).

In a recent survey, GPs were asked what topic relating to cancer care was most useful to them. The number one area was “keeping up to date with common cancer treatments and potential side effects” (Haynes 2013).


eviQ is a resource put out by the Cancer Institute NSW, which has become the preferred provider of evidence-based cancer treatment information at the point of care. Its secondary purpose is to provide reference standards to support measurement and reporting of the delivery of cancer treatments, in order to determine strategies to reduce variation and improve patient outcomes. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Management Frameworks

Cancer Council Tasmania has developed evidence-based Patient Management Treatment Frameworks

Currently, frameworks are available for the following malignancies:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Head & Neck Cancers
  • Lung Cancer
  • Malignant Glioma
  • Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer


The Department of Health and Ageing has launched the e-Health Record System across Australia. Health professionals can sign-up and maintain a record of their patient’s health record including event and discharge summaries, medicare information, advance care directive custodians and more.

Useful links

Haynes K, Enright C, Brahim J, Ledger M. What support do GPs get, and what would they like from the Cancer Council? [Abstract] 11th Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference; 2013 May 8-10; Adelaide, SA.
McAvoy BR. General practitioners and cancer control. Medical Journal of Australia 2007;187(2):115-117.
Mitchell GK. The role of general practice in cancer care. Australian Family Physician 2008;37(9):698-702.