Multidisciplinary team (MDT)
A team of health professionals will work with you to plan the treatment that is best for you.
Usually, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, a team of health professionals will work together to plan the treatment that is best for you. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).
The MDT looks at national treatment guidelines or the latest evidence for the type of cancer you have. If you have any treatment preferences your cancer doctor will tell them about this. Some of the following health professionals may be involved in your care:
- Surgeon – a doctor who does operations (surgery).
- Medical oncologist – a doctor who uses chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs to treat people with cancer.
- Clinical oncologist – a doctor who uses radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs to treat people with cancer.
- Haematologist – a doctor who diagnoses and treats blood disorders and cancers.
- Pathologist – a doctor who looks at cells or body tissue under a microscope to diagnose cancer.
- 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.
- Genetics specialist – a doctor who is an expert in cancers caused by a genetic change.
You may also meet other health or social care professionals, such as:
- occupational therapists
- doctors or nurses who specialise in symptom control (palliative care)
- counsellors or psychologists.
After you have been diagnosed, you may need more tests and scans to find out more about the cancer. The MDT will meet to discuss the results of these tests and plan your treatment. They will consider things including:
- the type and size of the cancer, and whether it has spread (its stage)
- your general health
- national treatment guidelines for your type of cancer
- your preferences about any treatment options.
After the MDT meeting, you usually meet your cancer doctor and specialist nurse to talk over your treatment options. You need to have as much information as you need to make your decision. Doctors need your permission before they can give you any treatment. This is called consent.
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