What you need to know
- Multidisciplinary teams are considered best practice: they improve clinical outcomes, care coordination and may improve survival.1
- Every person with a suspected or diagnosed cancer should be referred to a specialist who is a member of a multidisciplinary team.
- All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.
What is a cancer multidisciplinary team?
- A multidisciplinary team is a team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who all specialise in cancer.
- They review a patient's x-rays, scans and pathology in the team meeting.
- Members of the multidisciplinary team work together to create an individualised treatment plan specifically for the patient.
- Having a patient's case reviewed by a multidisciplinary team can improve the care they receive.
Who is a member of a multidisciplinary team?
The members of a multidisciplinary team will vary depending on the type of cancer being discussed. Generally the team will consist of:
- specialist surgeon
- medical oncologist
- radiation oncologist
- nuclear medicine physician
- MDT coordinator
- specialist nurse or care coordinator
- clinical trials coordinator.
Other health professionals that may be in the team include:
- social worker
- occupational therapist
- speech therapist
- clinical psychologist
- palliative care specialist doctor or nurse.
Why are multidisciplinary teams important?
Cancer care can be very complicated. There can be a large number of health care professionals involved in a cancer diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care. The multidisciplinary team allows all these specialists to work together to plan a patient's care. It reduces the time needed to gather the information and develop a treatment plan. Multidisciplinary teams improve the communication, decision making and coordination necessary for care.
How many cancer multidisciplinary teams are in NSW?
There are over 250 multidisciplinary teams across NSW and the ACT that cover different types of cancer.