To assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, hospitals have teams of doctors and nurses, each with their own areas of expertise, who work together to try and provide the best care for patients.
These are known as Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs). These teams are made up of Consultant doctors, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists (doctors who treat cancers using chemotherapy and radiotherapy), surgeons and specialist nurses. These teams meet regularly to discuss the cases of individual patients, with confirmed or suspected mesothelioma, to agree on the likelihood of the diagnosis being correct, on the stage of the disease and best treatment strategy. The wishes of the patient are taken into close consideration when treatment plans are discussed. Following MDT discussion, treatment options will be explained to the patient and referrals will be made as necessary.
Some centres in the UK now have regional mesothelioma MDTs where complex cases can be discussed, although for most patients, discussion will be held in a lung cancer (pleural mesothelioma) or gastro-intestinal (peritoneal mesothelioma) MDT.
You can ask if there is a regional mesothelioma MDT in your area that can be involved in your care.
Mesothelioma UK funded and commissioned research to obtain an accurate and up-to-date picture of mesothelioma multidisciplinary team services across the UK, and to identify any variation in access to specialist services and treatments for mesothelioma patients.
Comparing service provision across all participating MDTs, patients who were referred to one of the 17 specialist mesothelioma MDTs appeared more likely to benefit from access to a mesothelioma-specific clinical nurse specialist and on-site access to mesothelioma clinical trials.
You can read more about this research here.
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Thank you so much for all the kindness and concern you showed to [patient] and myself during his illness I know it meant a lot to him and to me and it gave us the strength to deal with the situation.