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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: As cancer treatments improve and mortality is decreased, clinicians find themselves faced with the aftermath of not only the cancer, but also its treatments. Understanding the neuropsychological effects of cancer and cancer treatments is an important step in the healing process and critical for improving quality of life post-treatment. This book brings together the relevant literature on the relationship between cognition and cancer.
Purpose: The aim is to pioneer a book that gathers recent research into cognition and cancer in a single source.
Audience: Clinicians from a variety of fields will find this of interest. Neuropsychologists are certainly at the top of the list, but other providers, such as neurologists and oncologists, will also find this of interest. Therapists involved in rehabilitation could benefit from this book as well. The editor and contributing authors include a number of experts in the field, as well as board certified neuropsychologists.
Features: The book begins with a general introduction to neuropsychology, which includes a brief history of the field, the types of domains assessed by neuropsychologists, and some reasons for referral with cancer patients. This is followed by a review of neuroimaging findings in cancer patients with a color plate at the end of the chapter. The next few chapters explore neuropsychological assessment, including suggested tests and batteries for adults and children. This is done at a general level, with later chapters addressing more specific types of cancer and treatments. Types of cancers range from leukemia to gliomas to paraneoplastic syndromes while treatments cover radiation to chemotherapy to hormone replacement. Late effects are discussed, which is an important issue for school-aged children. The final chapters are geared more towards support and rehabilitation, but the final chapter tackles the topic of clinical trials. The organization of the chapters is well done and includes helpful figures, such as MRI slides of tumors to help visualize neuroanatomical localization. Summaries end each chapter and the references are very current.
Assessment: Although the neuropsychology of cancer is in its infancy, this book is an indispensable part of a well rounded library on the topic. Readers will find information about assessment batteries, neuropsychological findings, and rehabilitation for the variety of cancer types and treatments they are most likely to encounter.