Multidisciplinary team (MDT) care is a key feature of Associate Professor Ch’ng’s approach to management of melanoma. MDT care is where professionals from a range of disciplines, function as a team to deliver comprehensive care that addresses your individual needs. There are many options for treating melanoma – surgery, radiotherapy and drugs – and most people with melanoma receive more than one type of treatment.
The Melanoma MDT includes expert health care professionals who have knowledge and training in specific areas of melanoma management. It includes surgeons, radiation oncologists (doctors who specialise in treating cancer with radiotherapy), medical oncologists (doctors who specialise in treating cancer with chemotherapy), pathologists (doctors who specialise in looking at cells under a microscope and diagnosing the cell type), radiologists (doctors who specialise in reading scans and Xrays), speech pathologists, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and nurse specialists. Dr Ch’ng is part of an MDT that meets weekly to discuss the results of your tests and to plan your treatment. They will look at a number of things, including:
- the type and size of the cancer, and whether it has spread
- your general health
- national treatment guidelines for your particular cancer
- your preferences, family and social situation.
You may be given a choice of treatment options, which Dr Ch’ng will discuss with you.
Being managed by an MDT means that you are more likely to:
- receive accurate diagnosis and staging
- be offered a choice of treatments decided by a group of experts, rather than by one doctor
- receive better coordination and continuity of care through all stages of the cancer
- be treated in line with locally agreed policies and national guidelines
- be offered appropriate and consistent information
In addition, the Melanoma MDT may offer you participation in clinical trials involving newly developed therapies that would not be available otherwise.
Research has shown that an MDT approach to cancer care improves patient outcomes.