Why have I been referred?
Your case has been discussed at an MDT meeting. MDT stands for Multi-Disciplinary Team and this team includes all specialists who might contribute to your treatment if a new diagnosis of a cancer has been made or is suspected. There are different MDTs for different types of cancer. Each MDT meets once a week to discuss new cases so that an agreed treatment plan can be made. We believe that this shared input helps us to give you the best possible treatment as we can consider different aspects of your case from varying perspectives. Following the MDT meeting the decision was made to refer you to see an Oncologist.
What should I expect to happen during my first appointment?
You will first be seen and assessed by the Consultant Oncologist that you have been referred to. They will recap on what symptoms you presented with and the results of any tests that have been performed including the findings at surgery if you have had an operation. It will then be explained to you if any more tests are needed and if you need to have any chemotherapy (drug) treatment. You will be given information about the aim of any treatment and possible side-effects of the treatment.
We usually find it very helpful if you come with a member of your family or a friend who can sit in and be a second pair of ears for you. We often find that this also helps to allay any concerns they may have.
What information will I get?
We don’t hide information from our patients but pride ourselves on an open relationship with our patients. All our research has shown that we possibly give too much rather than not enough information so please rely on us to help you in this regard. We will also give you the written information that you need to help you at each stage.
There are some general health information books about diet, financial arrangements etc. which we also have available and which you may find useful. Please remember that we keep in close contact with your GP and they may be able to provide further information and support.
If the treatment you receive is likely to result in hair loss an appointment will be made for you to see our ‘wig lady’ who visits the Unit once a week. She will be able to advise you on useful headwear and provide an appropriate wig for you if you wish.
We may also involve other specialist healthcare professionals in your care to help with symptom control. These professionals can help you both with the symptoms from your cancer and in managing any side effects of treatment. We will discuss this with you when you attend for your appointment.
What questions should I ask?
This is up to you, some people have many questions and some people have none. Either approach is fine. If you have specific questions it is a good idea to note them down in advance as you may forget them on the day.