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A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a group of doctors and other health professionals with expertise in a specific cancer, who together discuss and manage an individual patient’s care. They plan the treatment that’s best for you.
This depends on the type of cancer you have. Most teams will include a:
Other health professionals may also be involved, such as a:
When an MDT meets, they consider all the scan and test results that you have had since your cancer diagnosis. This helps them to plan the treatment that is most effective for you, taking into account your general health, the size of the cancer and whether it has spread (its stage) and how quickly it may grow or develop (its grade).
How the team is organised will depend on where you live - they may be slightly different across the UK. Some MDTs discuss patients from different hospitals. Specialists may be on teams for a number of different types of cancer.
How often an MDT meets may also vary. This could mean that you have to wait a bit longer to get all the results of your scans and a treatment plan from your doctor. This can be frustrating and worrying - but the pooling of different types of expertise should mean the best possible decisions are made about your treatment and care.
If waiting for results is making you anxious, you may find it helpful to talk about how you’re feeling with a partner, your family or close friends. You can also talk things over with one of our cancer support specialists.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)| recommend that people with cancer should be managed by a multidisciplinary team. People cared for by an MDT are more likely to:
It can be difficult if you are offered a choice of treatments and have to decide which to take. There’s a lot of information available to help you make an informed decision|. Your key worker or specialist nurse can also help you. Make sure you have enough information about what the treatments involve and any side effects, and feel free to discuss your choice with a member of your MDT.
Content last reviewed: 1 September 2012
Next planned review: 2014
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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