Updated: Experts develop cancer management guidelines

31 Aug 2015

A multidisciplinary team of experts is developing best practice guidelines for the management of people with diabetes who have cancer.

The ultimate aim of joint collaboration between St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital is to provide a set of consensus guidelines that help all health professionals to better manage cancer patients with poor glucose levels.

Professor Peter Colman an endocrinologist at Royal Melbourne Hospital said there was a need for guidelines because diabetes had become more common, people with cancer were surviving longer, and the use of glucose elevating steroid treatments had increased.

“Most of this care is being done in day chemotherapy in those areas where there’s not a lot of diabetes expertise and it’s been something that’s been neglected,” he told the limbic.

A steering committee made up of endocrinologists, oncologists, diabetes education managers and credentialled diabetes educators and pharmacists developed the guidelines with input from stakeholder groups including haematologists, GPs and dietitians.

They are now at the stage for review and feedback from members of the diabetes professional bodies.

The modified guidelines will be presented at the NADC meeting in October and Professor Colman says they hope to have them available for use across the country by the end of the year.

The project is funded by the Western and Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services and is the brainchild of Diabetes Education Unit Manager Kathleen Steele and her team of credentialed diabetes educators based at St Vincent’s Hospital.

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