Your multidisciplinary team (MDT)
The multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a team of health professionals who will provide your cancer care. They have many different areas of expertise.
What does the MDT do?
The MDT will review your test results at dedicated meetings and discuss your individual care. They will recommend the most appropriate treatment for you, based on the best evidence available.
The MDT approach is recognised as the most effective way to reach balanced recommendations. However, you are entitled to request a second opinion about your diagnosis, recommended treatment plan or care, if you would like to.
Who is in an MDT?
The MDT consists of the following people who attend each meeting:
- consultant surgeon: specialises in performing the type of surgery that may be needed
- specialist consultant (depending on cancer type) – for example, a consultant haematologist specialises in blood diseases
- consultant physician: organises the relevant tests and procedures to make a diagnosis
- oncologist: a consultant oncologist specialises in treating cancer with chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs), radiotherapy (radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells) and hormone therapy. They advise on further testing, monitoring or management.
- consultant radiologist: reviews and reports on scans and x-rays to confirm diagnosis and can advise on further testing, monitoring or management
- consultant histopathologist: specialises in working out the type of cancer you may have from the tissue samples (biopsies) taken
- clinical nurse specialist (CNS): an experienced nurse who is able to give expert advice related to your specific condition or treatment. They will take a key role in supporting your care and will be the main point of contact between yourself and your MDT.
- research nurse: supports patients taking part in clinical trials. If appropriate, you may be referred to a research nurse for information about taking part in a clinical trial.
- MDT coordinator: responsible for the administration and organisation of the MDT
Depending on your individual needs and symptoms, you may be referred to other specialists who are not core members of the MDT, such as a:
- palliative care specialist
- cancer psychology team
- speech and language therapist
What happens after the MDT meeting?
After the MDT meeting, we will:
- inform you of the outcome either face-to-face or over the phone
- offer you written information about your care and treatment
- keep your GP up-to-date with your care and treatment
- offer you copies of letters written about your care to other health professionals, including your GP
- offer you access to a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) when informed of your diagnosis – if this has not already happened
- let you know about local and national support services
- regularly review your case and you will have the opportunity to discuss your progress
Making decisions about your treatment
We will give you information and support to make sense of the clinical advice from the MDT before giving your consent. Your CNS will discuss the treatment plan with you and support you with decision making. Your personal circumstances will be taken into account as much as possible, so please do not hesitate to discuss this with your CNS.
Depending on your diagnosis, your suggested treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. We will explain the process and facts of each option to you.