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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melody L. McKinney, DNS, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: Written from the perspective of experienced oncology nurses along with commentary from cancer patients, this valuable little resource provides both authoritative and practical answers concerning cancer treatment options, post-treatment concerns, quality of life, and resources for managing the physical and emotional consequences of this potentially overwhelming disease.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is designed to maximize quality of life in cancer patients and their significant others by answering many of their questions and concerns, and in doing so, to help allay some of their fears and encourage active participation in managing the illness, treatment, and care.
Audience: The targeted audience is newly diagnosed cancer patients, long-term survivors, families, and friends.
Features: Written in a "100-questions and Answers" format, the book is divided into nine parts: part one describes cancer and its common treatments; part two discusses strategies for informed treatment decision-making; part three presents options for improving comfort and quality of life during treatment; part four addresses common concerns such as low blood counts, preventing infections, and skin care; part five outlines ways to manage treatment effects on breathing, nutrition, digestion, and elimination; part six addresses changes in personal appearance and sexual health; part seven describes peripheral neuropathy, fluid excesses, and peripheral vascular problems; part eight covers routine health concerns not directly related to cancer; and part nine addresses the emotional and social impact of cancer on the patient, caregiver, and others. Additional features include an appendix of resources, glossary of terms, and comprehensive index.
Assessment: This well-indexed, practical little book can be read straight through or used as a reference when problems arise. Based on the professional expertise of oncology nurses, along with the practical wisdom of cancer patients, a broad range of cancer-related questions and concerns are addressed. The specific content areas are pertinent, easy to comprehend, and covered in sufficient depth to be useful to cancer patients, their families, and friends. Additional resources are suggested for more in-depth information. The book should enhance the patient and family's quality of life by increasing their confidence in discussing the illness and treatment options and by assisting with the management of treatment-related challenges.