- Cancer Information
- Supporting someone with cancer
- Caring for someone with cancer
- What carers do
- Medical care
As a carer, you’re part of the health care team. Your role is to work with the team to ensure that you understand, and are included in, decisions about the care and treatment of the person you care for. This may sometimes mean speaking on behalf of the person you care for.
Learn more about:
- Making the most of a medical appointment
- Understanding the multidisciplinary team (MDT)
- Organising paperwork
- Managing medicines
- Applying for a PBS Safety Net card
- Monitoring symptoms and side effects
Most cancer treatment centres now have multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) made up of specialist doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, dietitians, social workers and psychologists. The members of the MDT will work together to manage the care of the person with cancer and recommend the best treatment. They may also refer the person to other specialists.
The person you are caring for needs to give written consent for the treatment team to talk with you about their care. This consent and your contact details should be formally recorded in their medical file, along with copies of any substitute decision-maker or advance care directive documents.
Dr Laura Kirsten, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Nepean Cancer Care Centre, NSW; Mary Bairstow, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Anne Booms, Nurse Practitioner – Supportive and Palliative Care, Icon Cancer Centre Midland, WA; Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor, Staff Specialist, Department of Palliative Care, Mercy Hospice, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Louise Good, Cancer Nurse Consultant, WA; Verity Jausnik, Senior Policy Officer, Carers Australia; David Larkin, Cancer Supportive Care Manager, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital and Health Service, ACT; Kate Martin, Consumer; John McMath, Consumer; Simone Noelker, Physiotherapist and Wellness Centre Coordinator, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer Care, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dean Rowe, Consumer; Chris Sibthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.