- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer care and your rights
- Making treatment decisions
- Treatment guidelines
While every case of cancer is different, your specialist should recommend treatment that is based on research. This is called evidence-based medicine. Doctors often follow standards called clinical practice guidelines, which outline the best available treatments for particular cancers.
The guidelines may cover:
- tests needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer
- the most effective treatments at each stage
- recommended time frames (e.g. how long it is reasonable to wait between receiving test results and starting treatment).
All doctors should be familiar with treatment guidelines, regardless of where they work. Some treatment centres use their own guidelines. Specialists will tailor treatment to suit your situation – this treatment should still meet the recommended best practice guidelines.
Ask your doctor what guidelines they are using – if there is not an Australian guideline, they may use international guidelines.
Some patients find it helpful to read the treatment guidelines, and many guidelines are available online:
- Cancer Australia clinical practice guidelines
- Cancer Council Australia Cancer Guidelines
- Optimal cancer care pathways.
It’s important to play an active role in your treatment, because it’s your life and body.Vivien
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Prof Sarah Lewis, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, NSW; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Alana Fitzgibbon, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Gastro-Intestinal Cancers, Cancer Services, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Hall & Wilcox (law firm); Johanna Jordaan, Consumer; Dr Deme Karikios, Medical Oncologist, Nepean Cancer and Wellness Centre, Nepean Hospital, NSW; Melissa Lawrie, Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse, Cancer Services, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Jacqueline Lesage, Consumer Reviewer, Cancer Voices NSW; McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Louise Pellerade, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Andrew Potter, Consumer; Siân Slade, PhD Candidate, Nossal Institute for Global Health and Non-Executive Director (health, disability sectors), VIC; Paula Watt, Clinical Psychologist, WOMEN Centre, WA.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.