Description: This is a handy guidebook written by a practicing pediatric oncologist and pediatric oncology social worker about childhood cancer. Its question and answer format is divided into sections dealing with the basics of the disease, diagnosis, treatment, side effects, treatment facilities, and adaptive issues.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a comprehensive resource for individuals affected by childhood cancer. It is intended to address issues that arise from diagnosis through completion of therapy and long-term follow-up.
Audience: The book is written especially for patients and parents (thus the title), but has wider appeal to providers and individuals interested in learning the practical aspects of pediatric oncology.
Features: The preface contains a strong endorsement by Dr. Gregory Reaman, Chairman of Children's Oncology Group. The authors present concise descriptions of tumor types, treatment modalities (including types of marrow and stem cell transplants), supportive care (such as antibiotics, transfusions, anti-emetics, reproductive issues, and nutrition), palliative care, psychosocial issues, and members of the team. A section on developmental milestones by age is an important addition. An appendix and glossary provide a list of resources and definition of unfamiliar terms, respectively. Comments from parents highlight the topics. "Black box" insertions facilitate grasp of salient points in each section. The omission of references contributes to the succinct answers the authors give to each question.
Assessment: This book is similar in format and content to Steen and Mirro's Childhood Cancer: A Handbook from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (HarperCollins, 2000). Although this not the only book of its kind to address common questions about pediatric cancer, it is effective in conveying useful, up-to-date information to patients, family members, and providers.