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* gastroenterologist (with expertise in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and/or endoscopic ultrasound)* hepato-pancreato biliary surgeon* interventional/ hepato-pancreato biliary radiologist* nurse (with appropriate expertise)* medical oncologist* radiation oncologist* palliative care specialist* pathologist* Aboriginal health practitioner, Indigenous liaison officer or remote…

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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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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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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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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 May 2015. This edition published in June 2021.…

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People with chronic mental health or psychiatric concerns

A diagnosis of cancer may present additional challenges to people who have pre-existing chronic mental health or psychiatric concerns, resulting in exacerbation of their mental health symptoms. This may include heightened anxiety, worsening depression or thoughts of self-harm. As poor adjustment and coping can affect treatment decisions, people who are known to have a mental…

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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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People experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage

In general, people from lower socioeconomic groups are at greater risk of poor health, have higher rates of illness, disability and death, and live shorter lives than those from higher socioeconomic groups (AIHW 2016). People experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage are less likely to participate in screening programs, more likely to be obese, less likely to exercise…

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Expert working group (this edition)

Professor Christopher Christophi (Chair), Surgeon, Austin Health and The University of Melbourne Dr Richard Khor, Radiation Oncologist, Austin Health and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Professor Michael Michael, Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Dr Krithika Murali, Clinical Geneticist Fellow, Victorian Clinical Genetics Services Dr Mehrdad Nikfarjam, Surgeon, Austin Health Ms Rose Rocca, Dietitian, Peter MacCallum…

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