The treatment team
Cancer care for children in Australia is among the best in the world. Your child’s cancer treatment team, a team of doctors and health professionals, is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). Members of this team are specialists in children’s cancers. These may include medical staff such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, social workers and psychologists, dietitians and other allied health professionals. They understand the differences between children’s cancer and adult cancer. Each team member brings different skills in managing care to meet the needs of your child and you.
A childhood cancer specialist, called a paediatric oncologist, will lead the team. Other MDT members will depend on the age of your child and their type of disease. The MDT may change over time as your child's needs change.
In addition to paediatric oncologists, the MDT may include:
- paediatric surgeons who specialise in operating on children
- neurologists who are specialists in diseases affecting the nervous system
- radiation oncologists who are specialists in using radiation to treat cancer
- radiologists who are specialists in medical imaging
- endocrinologists who are specialists in hormones and body development
- pathologists who are specialists in laboratory diagnosis
- ophthalmologists who are specialists in the eyes and vision
- haematologists who are specialists in blood disorders
- anaesthetists who are specialists in providing anaesthesia and pain management to patients during operations and procedures
- nurses who specialise in caring for children with cancer
- paediatricians who specialise in caring for children
Other members of the MDT may include:
- plastic surgeons
- psychologists or psychiatrists
- social workers
- fertility counsellors
- occupational therapists
- educational coordinators
- genetic counsellors
- your child’s regular doctor (general practitioner, or GP).