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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Briggitte E. Miller, MD (University of Tennessee at Memphis College of Medicine)
Description: The gynecological and obstetrical questions faced by women during and after treatment for cancer are addressed in this book. The editors also give a short overview of the treatment recommended for the most frequent malignancies in pregnancy.
Purpose: The main focus is the management of gynecologic and obstetric issues in cancer patients and cancer survivors. Also, gynecological and obstetrical issues associated with some specific cancers are addressed. Most of the information in this book can be found in other publications. However, this is the only survey with a focus on gynecologic issues, which saves the gynecologist the review of a large body of literature. The editors' objectives are fully met.
Audience: The editors advocate a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. This book is written for the general gynecologist, but also for all other physicians treating women with cancer. Valuable information is provided for the general practitioner who will have to counsel the patient when cancer is initially diagnosed and who will participate in the long-term follow-up of patients after cancer treatment. The principal editor is a well known gynecologic oncologist with a strong research background, including public health issues. He is also a practicing gynecologic oncologist, so he is very familiar with the daily problems with which his patients have to cope.
Features: Ovulation, menstruation, and contraception in patients with cancer are discussed, as well as fertility issues after cancer therapy. A useful chapter is presented about hormone replacement therapy. Sexuality issues during and after cancer treatment are discussed, as well as genital/urinary problems. In addition, there is an overview of the treatment of some frequent cancers during pregnancy, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or adnexal masses. The chapters are carefully written and are the result of an extensive literature survey. Summaries at the end of each chapter help to distill the most important factors. In all chapters, there is a focus on clinical usefulness. Tables are appropriate and the few algorithms included are very valuable. In some chapters such as the paragraph on fertility, too much space is given to a routine overview of fertility treatment options.
Assessment: This is a very valuable book for all physicians treating women touched by cancer. It is a good overview of the literature, with sound clinical advice. Although there are many books about gynecologic oncology, this publication has a different focus. Another book, Kavanagh's Cancer in Women (Blackwell Science, 1998), is focused more on the diagnosis and treatment of the most frequent cancers in women, but the issues in pregnancy are not covered, nor is the management of the cancer survivor.