Multidisciplinary Team Meeting
All patients who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer are discussed by the multidisciplinary team which meets formally once a week. This meeting involves colorectal surgeons but also the other specialties involved in the treatment and diagnosis.
For patients recently diagnosed with cancer, the patient’s symptoms and general fitness are reviewed. Most patients will have a biopsy of the suspected tumour, which is often performed during a colonoscopy. The pathologist reports the results of this. A radiologist (X-ray doctor) informs the meeting of the results of any scans as most patients will have a total body CT and often additional scans such as MRI. It is a forum for discussion about the treatment options, though the final decision is always left to the patient after a discussion with their doctor about the treatment options and the MDT recommendation.
Treatment commonly involves surgery but often involves radiotherapy (X-ray treatment) given by a radiotherapist and / or chemotherapy (drug treatment) overseen by an oncologist. The Colorectal Cancer Nurses are also at the meeting and help to ensure a co-ordinated approach to each patient and their cancer.
Patients’ progress is regularly reviewed at the MDT meeting so that all clinicians involved are up to date with patients.