What you need to know
- Multidisciplinary teams are a key part of cancer care.
- Ask your GP to refer you to a specialist who is part 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 your x-rays, scans and pathology in the team meeting.
- Members of the multidisciplinary team work together to create a treatment plan specifically for you.
- Having your case reviewed by a multidisciplinary team can improve the care you 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
- 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 your diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care.
The multidisciplinary team allows all these specialists to work together to plan your care. It reduces the time needed to gather the information about your cancer and develop a treatment plan. Multidisciplinary teams improve the communication, decision making and coordination necessary for your care.
How will I know what happened in the multidisciplinary team meeting?
Your cancer specialist will tell you what was discussed in the team meeting and how that affects your treatment plan. Your cancer specialist will send information to your GP that includes the multidisciplinary team's decisions and your future treatment.
Your specialist will explain the treatment plan and answer any questions you have about it. You can accept the treatment advised by the multidisciplinary team or you may want to have a different treatment plan. You can talk to your specialist about this.
Travel assistance for rural patients
If you live in a rural area and need help to travel for your treatment visit NSW Government IPTAAS for more information.
How many cancer multidisciplinary teams are in NSW?
There are over 200 multidisciplinary teams across NSW and the ACT that cover different types of cancer.