Background: Increasing numbers of children and adults are surviving cancer and living with the consequences of their disease or its treatment. The commonest long term consequences observed following childhood cancer are endocrine and there is a growing body of evidence indicating that adults treated for malignant disease are also at risk of endocrine dysfunction.
Aim: To determine the involvement of Endocrinologists in the management of cancer survivors and resources that will improve the outcome of this growing patient cohort.
Methods: Clinical members of the Society for Endocrinology were invited to complete an online questionnaire.
Results: One hundred and ten physicians (64% male) responded of whom 60.9% were involved in the care of cancer survivors. Respondents cared for patients treated during childhood (18%), adulthood (20%) or both (62%), but only 31% had a dedicated late effects clinic. 97% felt the Endocrinologist should be part of the late effects MDT and 92% agreed that standardised guidelines and specialist nursing support would help them provide a clinically appropriate late effects service. 86% of Endocrinologists felt they would benefit from specific training in endocrinology.
Discussion and recommendations: This survey demonstrates that Endocrinologists are engaged in the care of cancer survivors although provision is not universal. The survey has identified the following needs: development of guidelines for the management of late effects of treatment for cancer in adulthood and standards of care, links with cancer networks; attendance of Endocrinologists at late effects MDTs when established. There is a particular need to establish training for Endocrinologists who are keen to be involved in the care of these patients.