In most hospitals, a team of specialists called a multidisciplinary team (MDT) will talk to you about the treatment they feel is best for your situation.
This MDT will include a:
- surgeon who specialises in bowel cancers
- medical oncologist who specialises in chemotherapy and targeted therapies
- clinical oncologist who specialises in radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies
- radiologist who helps to interpret x-rays and scans
- pathologist who advises on the type and size of the cancer
- colorectal cancer nurse specialist who specialises in cancers of the colon and rectum, and offers support and information
- stoma care nurse who helps to care for a stoma when someone has had a colostomy or ileostomy operation.
It may also include other healthcare professionals, such as a gastroenterologist (doctor who specialises in bowel problems), dietitian, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or counsellor.
If the cancer has spread to your liver, you may also be referred to an MDT that specialises in surgery for secondary cancer in the liver. In this situation, the two MDTs will work together to plan your treatment.
Your specialist team will consider a number of factors when advising you on your treatment options. These include your general health, the stage of the cancer and if it has spread to other parts of the body.