Multidisciplinary Cancer Team

In Australia it is considered best practice for breast cancer treatment to be managed though a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach. This means that the health professionals involved in your care meet to discuss the best treatment options for you.

There are several specialties that meet to discuss your individual case. In this way you can be assured that your treatment is tailored specifically to you, by a team of Sydney's leading cancer specialists.

The following health professionals may be involved in the care of a woman with breast cancer:

  • General practitioner: provides ongoing care and works with other members of the treatment team
  • Surgeon: specialises in surgery, including biopsies
  • Pathologist: examines cells, tissue and blood from the body
  • Radiologist: examines mammograms, ultrasounds, X-rays and other imaging results and may perform biopsies or help locate cancers prior to surgery
  • Radiation oncologist: specialises in radiotherapy
  • Radiation therapist: assists in planning and giving radiotherapy
  • Medical oncologist: specialises in cancer drugs such as hormonal therapies, chemotherapy and targeted therapies
  • Breast care nurse: specialises in caring for people with breast cancer
  • Oncology nurse: specialises in caring for people with cancer
  • Research nurse: assists in the planning and coordination of clinical research studies and clinical trials
  • Psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor: specialise in providing emotional support and managing anxiety and depression
  • Social worker: specialises in providing emotional support, counselling and advice about some practical and legal matters
  • Welfare worker: provides practical support and advice
  • Physiotherapist, occupational therapist: assist with exercise and pain management
  • Dietitian: specialises in providing advice about what to eat
  • Palliative care specialist, palliative care nurse: specialise in providing practical support and symptom relief
  • Community/district nurse: provides care and support at home
  • Community palliative care team: provide practical support and symptom relief at home
  • Plastic surgeon: specialises in breast reconstruction after breast surgery
  • Pharmacist: specialises in supplying, dispensing and manufacturing drugs
  • Pastoral care/religious representative: provides spiritual support.

Dr David Gordon-Thomson will present your case to the multidisciplinary meeting as your surgeon. There will be other breast cancer surgeons present. Together they will agree on the best course for your surgical management.

Pathologists

The Pathologist who attends the MDT meeting is there to present the microscopic findings of any cytology or histology findings to assist in the planning of your definitive treatment

Radiologists

The Radiologist uses their breast imaging expertise in the diagnosis and sampling of breast abnormalities. Like the Pathologist, the Radiologist is a core member of the multi-disciplinary breast cancer team. The Radiologist and Pathologist will interact as the diagnostic part of patient care, with an important aspect of the MDT being the correlation between the Radiologist’s imaging findings and the Pathologist’s histologic or microscopic findings.

Medical Oncologists

A medical oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy. At the meeting, it will be decided whether it is appropriate for you to see a medical oncologist.

Radiation Oncologists

A Radiation Oncologist is a medical specialist doctor with training in the use of radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) to cure or reduce the symptoms of cancer, and in the overall care of cancer patients. Many patients will require a consultation with a radiation oncologist, and this will be discussed at the meeting.

Breast Care Nurses

Breast cancer nurses are a key point of contact between oncologists and patients and are important for the continuity of care of breast cancer patients. The breast care nurse will be present at the meeting to ensure she is fully up to date with your treatment reccomendations.

Gill Neil - Early Breast Care Nurse

NSW Women’s Breast Centre
Royal Hospital for Women
Barker Street Entrance
Randwick, NSW 2031

  • Email: [javascript protected email address]
Helen Conlon - Advanced Breast Care Nurse

NSW Women’s Breast Centre
Royal Hospital for Women
Barker Street Entrance
Randwick, NSW 2031

  • Email: [javascript protected email address]

Genetic Cancer Team

The genetic cancer team at Prince of Wales Hospital provides individuals with an accurate assessment of their personal risk for developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer and offers a plan for follow-up and preventive care. You will be referred to the genetics team if Dr Gordon-Thomson, or any one else at the multidisciplinary meeting believe you are at risk of a potential gene mutation.

  • Email: powhcc@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au
  • Phone: 02 9382 5107
  • University of Cape Town
  • King Edward VII's Hospital
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Royal Hospital for Women
  • prime wales hospital
  • BreastScreen Australia