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Involvement of orthopaedic surgeons for cancer patients in orthopaedic training facilities certified by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association - A nationwide survey

Published:December 11, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jos.2021.11.003

      Abstract

      Background

      In order to improve cancer care in Japan further, it is now required for orthopaedic surgeons to get actively involved in managing locomotive organs such as bones, muscles and nerves in cancer patients. In 2018, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) conducted a questionnaire survey to investigate the current status of cancer treatment at the orthopaedic training facilities certified by the JOA. We analyzed the results of that questionnaire survey, focusing on the data from the core hospitals for cancer care (designated cancer hospitals), to clarify the involvement of orthopaedic surgeons in cancer treatment.

      Materials and methods

      A nationwide survey was conducted in the orthopaedic training facilities certified by the JOA using an online questionnaire from March 15th to 31st, 2018. To clarify the involvement of orthopaedic surgeons in cancer treatment, we analyzed the results of that questionnaire survey, focusing on the data from the designated cancer hospitals in Japan.

      Results

      From the questionnaire survey, it became clear that 24% of the orthopaedic training facilities certified by the JOA are designated cancer hospitals. There were significant differences concerning cancer treatment and the prospect of orthopaedic surgeons' involvement in the treatment for bone metastases between institutions classified according to number of both certified orthopaedic surgeons by the JOA and specialists for bone and soft tissue tumors. In addition, in 45% of the designated cancer hospitals, orthopaedic surgeons treated bone metastases that occur in cancer patients, but in the rest of the institutions, orthopaedic surgeons did not yet adequately respond.

      Conclusion

      In order to further improve the locomotive function and quality of life (QOL) in cancer patients, it was seemed to be necessary that all medical professionals engaged in cancer treatment, including orthopaedic surgeons, recognize the importance of locomotive management for cancer patients. In addition, the results of this study suggested that the presence of more than six certified orthopaedic surgeons by the JOA, including one or more specialists for bone and soft tissue tumors, may be able to create an environment conducive to the involvement of orthopaedic surgeons in cancer treatment at the facility.
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