Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Multidisciplinary team working in cancer: what is the evidence?

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 23 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c951

Rapid Response:

Patient narratives hold the evidence for MDTs

My cancer treatment included poor doctor/patient communication, non-
existent doctor/doctor communication, false information, lack of consent
to an acutely painful procedure and unrelieved, escalating acute pain. It
left me traumatised and suffering playback for years.

If I had been cared for by a multidisciplinary team (MDT) instead of
one paternalistic individual, there is a good chance much of my suffering
would have been relieved, or prevented from occurring.

Far from needing evidence of the effectiveness of MDTs, we need to
ensure every cancer patient has access to them. We need nurses to have
more authority to raise concerns about patients' welfare, stop
inappropriate procedures and ensure adequate levels of pain relief are in
place. We need to bring GPs into the equation, so there is all-round
communication and understanding of treatment side effects and patient's

Competing interests:
Author, Nothing Personal, disturbing undercurrents in cancer care, Radcliffe Publishing Limited

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 March 2010
Mitzi A J Blennerhassett
patient advocate, author
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