What is a multidisciplinary team (MDT)?

In most hospitals, a team of specialists will meet to discuss which treatment will be best for you. They are called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

The MDT look at national treatment guidelines or the latest evidence for the type of cancer you have. If you have any treatment preferences, your doctor will tell them about this.

Who will be in my MDT?

The MDT for thyroid cancer will usually include:

  • Surgeon – a doctor who does operations (surgery).
  • Oncologist – a cancer doctor who specialises in radioactive iodine treatment, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy
  • Endocrinologist – a doctor who treats problems with the endocrine system and hormones.
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) – a nurse who gives information about cancer, and support during treatment.
  • Radiologist – a doctor who looks at scans and x-rays to diagnose problems.
  • Nuclear medicine specialist – a doctor who analyses tests and scans that use radioactive substances, such as a thyroid scan.
  • Pathologist – a doctor who looks at cells or body tissue under a microscope to diagnose cancer.

It may also include other healthcare professionals, such as:

  • a speech and language therapist – someone who gives information and support to people who have problems talking and swallowing
  • a dietitian – someone who gives information and advice about food and food supplements
  • a physiotherapist – someone who gives advice about exercise and mobility
  • a psychologist or counsellor – someone who gives advice about managing feelings and behaviours.

After your MDT meeting

After the team have met, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. You can ask questions about anything you do not understand or are worried about. 

You will usually also be given the number for a nurse specialist or key worker, who you can contact if you have questions when you get home. You can also talk to our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00 (daily, 8am to 8pm).

We have more information about:

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our thyroid cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    British Medical Journal. Best Practice Guidelines, Thyroid cancer. 2020.

    European Society Medical Oncology (ESMO): Thyroid cancer, Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis, Treatment and Follow-up. 2019.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). TA535: Lenvatinib and Sorafenib for treating differentiated thyroid cancer after radioactive iodine. 2018. www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta535 [accessed May 2021].

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor Nick Reed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We try to make sure our information is as clear as possible. We use plain English, avoid jargon, explain any medical words, use illustrations to explain text, and make sure important points are highlighted clearly.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected. Our aims are for our information to be as clear and relevant as possible for everyone.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.