If you have been diagnosed with or are living with lung cancer, you may be asking: ‘what is a lung cancer multidisciplinary team?
A multidisciplinary team, commonly referred to as an MDT, means you can benefit from an integrated holistic approach to your treatment and care. It is your own team of expert medical and allied health professionals, who communicate with each other to collaboratively develop your treatment plan and address your individual needs.
What will my multidisciplinary team do for me?
Your multidisciplinary team will consider your preferences and unique care needs, and will review your plan when there is a change in your condition.
Lung Foundation Australia Lung Cancer Support Nurse, Nicole Parkinson, says an multidisciplinary team can identify the most suitable supportive care needs at all stages, including diagnosis, during and after treatment.
“When the unique supportive care needs of someone living with lung cancer are addressed, patients report decreased distress and are more likely to adhere to treatment and clinical recommendations,” Nicole says.
Collaboratively, your team will discuss treatment, symptom management, psychosocial and financial aspects. For you, it may mean:
- Improved quality of life and survival rate
- Shorter period of time between diagnosis and treatment
- Receiving individualised care which matches clinical practice guidelines
- More access to information
- More satisfaction with your treatment and care.
Who is in my lung cancer multidisciplinary team?
Your multidisciplinary team members may include:
- Respiratory physician
- Medical and radiation oncologists
- Psychologist or psychiatrist
- Palliative care physician
- Lung cancer specialist care nurse
Other members may also include a social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and dietitian. The treatment plan that your team puts together will be shared with you and your GP.
How do I connect with a lung cancer multidisciplinary team?
Lung Foundation Australia has developed an multidisciplinary team directory and map which provides locations across Australia. If you can’t find a service in your area, you may be able to access remote options through telephone or video conferences. To refer you, your GP will need to send a referral letter to a lung cancer specialist affiliated with a lung cancer multidisciplinary team.