MDT – the CC patient’s perspective

A report on AMMF’s presentation at the ESSO-BASO* Cancer MDT Course, Liverpool, November 2014

By Helen Morement


(To view the course programme, click on the image above.)

I was invited by Mr Hassan Malik, Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon and Clinical Lead at University Hospital, Liverpool to speak to an audience of surgeons at the Cancer MDT Course, on 01 November 2014, on the subject, “MDT – The Patient’s Perspective.”

I knew this was a very fraught area for many cholangiocarcinoma patients and their families, so I felt strongly that theirs should be the perspective I used in my presentation.

Using AMMF’s Facebook page, I invited AMMF supporters to supply answers, comments and thoughts on the following series of questions:

1.  If you, or someone you are close to, has been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, were you/they told that your/their treatment would be discussed at an MDT meeting?

2.  If you were told about an MDT meeting, did you know what this meant and did you understand what would be happening?

3.  Did you have an opportunity to ask questions about this, and were they fully answered to your satisfaction?

4.  How were the decisions on treatment options reported back to you?

5.  Did you have an opportunity to ask questions about this?

The number of replies received showed that this was indeed a subject many had strong opinions on; the frank comments on patients’ and families’ experiences provided the base for my presentation and helped illustrate in the most graphic way where medics are getting it right and where, all too often, they are getting it woefully wrong …

The comments from those respondents who shared their information openly, or who emailed but agreed to their information being shared, were collated into one document which was circulated as a handout to all the attendees at the course. To read this document in full, click here

To see the slides that were used as the base of the AMMF presentation, click here

Positive feedback received …

The feedback after this presentation was immediate and remarkable. Several surgeons commented that this information would definitely make them take a fresh look at their approach, one mentioned that some of the comments actually brought tears to his eyes, and another said he felt that it had been like, “an anchor pulling him back into the harbour where he should be …”

Mr Hassan Malik offered to contribute an article for AMMF’s Specialist Viewpoint series, which he produced very promptly and this, entitled “Demystifying the MDT”, is now available.  To read it,  click here


Thank you to everyone who contributed their experiences of MDTs and MDT meetings, your help was invaluable in preparing the presentation, and instrumental in achieving the very positive responses received – which we can only hope will lead to improvements where they are badly needed.


* ESSO – European Society of Surgical Oncology
   BASO – The Association for Cancer Surgery


November 2014