- 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
- treatments that are most effective 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.
Patients are able to read treatment guidelines. Ask your doctor what guidelines they are using – they may use an international guideline if there is not an Australian version. Visit these links to see some of these guidelines:
It’s important to play an active role in your treatment, because it’s your life and body.
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
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