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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Aziz Boxwala, MBBS, PhD (Brigham & Women's Hospital)
Description: This is a collection of articles describing cancer care resources on the Internet.
Purpose: These articles are intended to show cancer patients, their families, and healthcare professionals how the Internet can be used to locate information about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cancer. With the large number of cancer-related resources on the Internet, a guide to help look for appropriate information would be very useful to patients.
Audience: Although the book is intended for oncology professionals, and patients and their families, the loose collection of articles creates a lack of cohesiveness throughout the book, making it difficult to understand for a novice Internet user. The book also lacks an introductory chapter on the Internet. The articles themselves are very insightful and will certainly benefit more experienced users.
Features: Some of the major cancer related resources on the Internet are described in the articles, often written by the creators of the resources. These include the National Cancer Institute's CancerNet site, the Oncolink site, and all of the NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers. One article provides examples of sites pertinent to breast cancer. Another interesting article is presented as the diary of a patient suffering from Hodgkin's Disease who documents his discovery of resources on the Internet useful to him. Although widely dispersed throughout the book, helpful guidelines for assessing the quality of the material found on the web are provided.
Assessment: The Internet is a very dynamic medium with resources being added to it very often. A static medium such as a book cannot keep pace. This material would have been more useful as a web-site. Providers of supportive care to cancer patients may find this book useful to learn more about cancer resources on the Internet and to guide patients in their search for more information.