Multidisciplinary team (MDT) for mesothelioma

A team of health professionals will work with you to plan the treatment that is best for your mesothelioma diagnosis.

If your tests show that you have mesothelioma, a team of specialists meet to talk about the best treatment for you. They are called a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

The MDT look at national treatment guidelines or the latest evidence for the type of cancer you have. If you have any treatment preferences, your doctor will tell them about this.

The MDT will usually include the following professionals:

  • Chest physician – a doctor experienced in lung disease (if you have pleural mesothelioma).
  • Clinical oncologist – a doctor who uses radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs to treat people with cancer.
  • Surgeon – a doctor who does operations (surgery). They will be experienced in chest surgery (if you have pleural mesothelioma) or abdominal surgery (if you have peritoneal mesothelioma).
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS) – a nurse who gives information about cancer, and support during treatment.
  • Palliative care nurse – a nurse who helps with symptom control and end-of-life care.
  • Radiologist – a doctor who looks at scans and x-rays to diagnose problems.
  • Pathologist – a doctor who looks at cells or body tissue under a microscope to diagnose cancer.

The team may also include other healthcare professionals, such as:

  • a physiotherapist – someone who gives advice about exercise and mobility
  • a counsellor – someone who is trained to listen to people’s problems and help them find ways to cope
  • a psychologist – someone who gives advice about managing feelings and behaviours
  • a social worker – someone who can help sort out practical and financial problems
  • a dietitian – someone who gives information and advice about food and food supplements.

The MDT will take a number of factors into account when planning your treatment and care. These include the type and stage of your mesothelioma and your general health.

Sometimes you may be offered a choice of treatments. If this happens, make sure you have enough information about:

  • the different treatments
  • what is involved
  • the possible side effects.

This will help you to make the right decision for you.

If you have any questions about your treatment, ask your doctor or nurse. It is a good idea to have a family member or close friend with you when the treatment is explained. This can help you remember the discussion. You may also find it useful to make a list of questions before the appointment and to take notes.

We understand that having treatment can be a difficult time for people. We're here to support you. If you want to talk, you can: