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The prevalence, incidence and care of malignant disease in an urban general practice were studied over a one-year period. Prevalence of malignant disease was 13.1 per 1000 patients, with an incidence of 1.9 per 1000 patients per year. The mortality rate over the year was 2.6 per 1000 patients per year.
Patients with malignant disease generated twice as many primary care consultations as the average practice patient and home visiting was increased fourfold. This increased visiting was most apparent for terminal-care patients. Nevertheless, the increase in consultations did not fully reflect the amount of time, energy and emotional support given by the primary care team.