Expert working group (previous edition)

Associate Professor June Corry (Chair), Radiation Oncologist; Head of the Head and Neck Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Ms Hamlata Bhana, Social Worker, Head and Neck and Neurology Services, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Associate Professor Jonathan Clark, Head and Neck Surgeon, The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Dr Andrew Coleman, Radiation Oncologist, Peter…

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Older people with cancer

Planning and delivering appropriate cancer care for older people can present a number of challenges. This could also be true for frail people or those experiencing comorbidities. Effective communication between oncology and geriatrics departments will help facilitate best practice care, which takes into account physiological age, complex comorbidities, risk of adverse events and drug interactions,…

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Expert working group (this edition)

Dr Andrew Coleman (Co-chair), Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Mr Stephen Tudge (Co-chair), ENT Head and Neck Surgeon, Alfred Health Ms Lauren Atkins, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, OnCore Nutrition Associate Professor Sidney Davis, Radiation Oncologist, Alfred Health Dr Jacqui Frowen, Clinical Lead Speech Pathologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Associate Professor Hui Gan, Medical Oncologist,…

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Contributors and reviewers

Our thanks to the following health professionals, consumer representatives, stakeholders and organisations consulted in developing this optimal care pathway.

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Statement of acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to Elders past, present and emerging. This work is available from the Cancer Council website. First published in September 2015. This edition published in June 2021.…

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Appendix D: Complementary therapies

Complementary therapies may be used together with conventional medical treatments to support and enhance quality of life and wellbeing. They do not aim to cure the patient’s cancer. Instead, they are used to help control symptoms such as pain and fatigue (Cancer Council Australia 2019). The lead clinician or health professional involved in the patient’s…

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Appendix B: Psychological needs

Consider a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist, pastoral/spiritual care practitioner, social worker, specialist nurse or a relevant community-based program if the patient has these issues: displaying emotional cues such as tearfulness, distress that requires specialist intervention, avoidance or withdrawal being preoccupied with or dwelling on thoughts about cancer and death displaying fears about the treatment…

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Appendix A: Supportive care domains

Supportive care in cancer refers to the following five domains: the physical domain, which includes a wide range of physical symptoms that may be acute, relatively short lived or ongoing, requiring continuing interventions or rehabilitation the psychological domain, which includes a range of issues related to the patient’s mental health wellbeing and personal relationships the…

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Sexually and gender diverse groups

People who identify as sexually or gender diverse may have unique needs following a cancer diagnosis. Sexually or gender diverse identities include (but are not limited to) people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, collectively ‘LGBT’. There is no universally agreed upon initialism to describe this community, with other terms such as queer/questioning…

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Members of the multidisciplinary team for head and neck cancer (formerly Appendix E)

The multidisciplinary team may include the following members: care coordinator (as determined by multidisciplinary team members)* dietitian* head and neck surgeon* medical oncologist* nurse (with appropriate expertise)* oral and maxillofacial surgeon* pathologist* plastic and reconstructive surgeon* radiation oncologist* radiologist/ nuclear medicine imaging specialist* special needs dentist* speech pathologist* Aboriginal health practitioner, Indigenous liaison officer or…

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