Objective: To explore GPs' own views on their role in cancer care.
Design: Qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews.
Setting: Norwegian primary care.
Methods: The stories of 14 GPs concerning 18 patients were analyzed for core content and abstracted into general ideas, to create a broader sense of the experienced professional role.
Results: The GPs claimed to have an important role in cancer care. In our analysis, three main aspects of GPs' work emerged: first, as a flexible mediator, e.g. between the patient and the clinic, interpreting and translating; second, as an efficient "handyman", solving practical problems locally; and third, as a personal companion for the patient throughout the illness.
Conclusion: The interviewed GPs see their place in cancer care as being close to their patients. In their many tasks we found three main aspects: the mediating, the practical, and the personal.