advance care directive – voluntary person-led document that focus on an individual’s values and preferences for future health and medical treatment decisions, preferred outcomes and care. They are completed and signed by a competent person. They are recognised by specific legislation (statutory) or common law (non-statutory). Advance care directives can also appoint the substitute decision-maker(s) who can make decisions about health or personal care on the individual’s behalf if they are no longer able to make decisions themselves.

Advance care directives focus on the future health care of a person, not on the management of his or her assets. They come into effect when an individual loses decision-making capacity.

advance care planning – the process of planning for future health and personal care, where the person’s values, beliefs and preferences are made known so they can guide decision making at a future time when that person cannot make or communicate their decisions.

alternative therapies – treatments used in place of conventional medical treatment.

care coordinator – the health provider nominated by the multidisciplinary team to coordinate patient care. The care coordinator may change over time depending on the patient’s stage in the care pathway and the location and care in which care is being delivered.

complementary therapies – supportive treatment used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. These treatments may improve wellbeing and quality of life and help people deal with the side effects of cancer.

end-of-life care – includes physical, spiritual and psychosocial assessment, and care and treatment, delivered by health professionals and ancillary staff. It also includes support of families and carers and care of the patient’s body after their death.

immunotherapy – a type of cancer treatment that helps the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy can boost the immune system to work better against cancer or remove barriers to the immune system attacking the cancer.

indicator – a documentable or measurable piece of information regarding a recommendation in the optimal care pathway.

informed financial consent – the provision of cost information to patients, including notification of likely out-of-pocket expenses (gaps), by all relevant service providers, preferably in writing, before admission to hospital or treatment (Australian Government Department of Health 2017).

lead clinician – the clinician who is nominated as being responsible for individual patient care. The lead clinician may change over time depending on the stage of the care pathway and where care is being provided.

minimal residual disease (MRD) – a small number of cancer cells left in the body after treatment

multidisciplinary care – an integrated team approach to health care in which medical and allied health providers consider all relevant treatment options and collaboratively develop an individual treatment plan for each patient.

multidisciplinary team – comprises the core disciplines that are integral to providing good care. The team is flexible in approach, reflects the patient’s clinical and psychosocial needs and has processes to facilitate good communication.

multidisciplinary team meeting – a meeting of health professionals from one or more clinical disciplines who together make decisions about recommended treatment of patients.

optimal care pathway – the key principles and practices required at each stage of the care pathway to guide the delivery of consistent, safe, high-quality and evidence-based care for all people affected by cancer.

performance status – an objective measure of how well a patient can carry out activities of daily life.

primary care health professional – in most cases this is a general practitioner but may also include general practice nurses, community nurses, nurse practitioners, allied health professionals, midwives, pharmacists, dentists and Aboriginal health workers.

prognostic assessment – evaluation of clinical features (e.g. pathological, biochemical, molecular, genetic, simple clinical measurements) to predict a patient’s likelihood of responding to treatment, developing disease or experiencing a medical event.

relative survival – the probability of being alive for a given amount of time after diagnosis compared with the general population.

risk stratification – a systematic process to target, identify an select patients who are at risk of poorer health outcomes, and who are expected to benefit most from a particular intervention or suite of interventions.

spiritual care – the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.

substitute decision-maker – a person permitted under the law to make decisions on behalf of someone who does not have competence or capacity.

supportive care – care and support that aims to improve the quality of life of people living with cancer, cancer survivors and their family and carers and particular forms of care that supplement clinical treatment modalities.

survivorship – an individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, and throughout their life; the term includes individuals receiving initial or maintenance treatment, in recovery or in the post-treatment phase.

survivorship care plan – a formal, written document that provides details of a person’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, potential late and long-term effects arising from the cancer and its treatment, recommended follow-up, surveillance, and strategies to remain well.

targeted therapy – a medicine that blocks the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules.