MDCC Fights Cancer Using a Team of Specialists

An astute observer once said when there’s teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

That insightful idea is the foundation of Aurora Health Care’s proven multidisciplinary cancer care (MDCC) approach. 

As cancer patient needs become more complicated and new cancer treatment options are accepted, our approach to cancer care continues to evolve.

 

What Is Multidisciplinary Cancer Care?

This approach brings together clinicians with a range of specialties to treat our patients holistically.

At all of our multidisciplinary cancer clinics, expert clinicians work together to share ideas and formulate a treatment plan that’s best for the patient.

One clinician on the team takes the lead as the group carefully coordinates treatments to maximize effectiveness. The group discusses the potential effectiveness, sequence and timing of the different treatment options. Your primary care provider is informed of progress throughout the process.

To ensure all options are considered, team members participate in regular conference calls with clinicians across the nation to get added input about the most promising treatment options.

 

One Nurse Navigator, One Facility

A highly trained nurse navigator works closely with each patient and the family. The navigator keeps everyone informed about progress and ensures patient and family understand the treatment plans and options. The nurse navigator also ensures all members of the treatment team are up to date about the patient’s progress. 

For patients and their families, multidisciplinary cancer care means they can go to one place to visit their cancer care clinicians. No need to run from office to office for care.

The MDCC team will include the specialists that are appropriate for the patient’s diagnosis and needs. Along with the nurse navigator, the medical team can include:

  • Medical, Surgical and Radiation Oncologists (cancer specialists) who are experts in a number of treatments. The clinicians may be specialists in chemotherapyradiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, cancer surgeries or cancer ablation (using heat, cold or electric current to attack cancers). 
  • Radiologists and pathologists who interpret scans and check tissue samples.
  • Specialists in systems elsewhere in the body that may be affected by cancer, such as heart, lung or digestive system.
  • Pharmacists who dispense prescribed medications or IV treatments. 
  • Research coordinators work with patients who may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial. The coordinator can guide the patient and answer questions about the trial 
  • Integrative medicine specialists support the holistic approach to treating the whole person — mind, body and spirit. 

 

The MDCC team can include professionals, who offer additional patient and family support, including:

  • Genetic Counselors who can inform patients and families about their risk of inherited condition which may lead to an increased risk of cancer development
    • Rehabilitation therapists who can help patients with physical, occupational and speech therapy. 
    • Dietitians help patients more comfortably adjust to nutritional changes that may be recommended during and after treatment. 
    • Social workers and counselors specialize in cancer care can provide emotional support for the patient and family. The social worker can also help connect the family with a range of support services. 
    • Financial counselors can help patients and families understand insurance, treatment costs and payment options as well as legal issues. 
    • Chaplains provide pastoral care to patients and families of all faiths.

 

As treatment progresses, we’ll continue to guide cancer survivors through their ongoing medical and emotional concerns.

If you have questions about cancer care, meet with a cancer care specialist. An Aurora cancer clinic may be near you. 

Need a doctor? We can help with that, too. Visit our website.

We can also guide you if you’d like to get a second opinion about a diagnosis.

Meet the Author

Aaron H. Chevinsky, MD is the Director of Surgical Oncology at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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