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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melody L. McKinney, DNS, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: This book provides up-to-date medical information from an oncologist and compassionate insight from a professor of psychiatry on cancer and its treatment. Additional guidance is offered in the form of outside resources and advice on coping strategies to manage the loneliness, fear, and pain inherent in facing a cancer diagnosis. Also included are chapters on the complementary therapies of faith and prayer, along with nutritional and other healthy lifestyle recommendations.
Purpose: The book is designed to assist anyone whose life is affected by cancer: patients, family members, friends, and healthcare professionals.
Audience: The book should be useful to the person with cancer, as well as to family, friends, and lay and professional caregivers. Chapter contributors are predominantly physicians who are experts in the fields of medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and psychiatry.
Features: The book consists of 33 chapters covering a multitude of cancer topics from the basic question of "What is cancer?" to new therapies and protocols and complex issues such as rational suicide and euthanasia. The book is written in everyday language without being overly simplistic. The first section presents information needed to deal with the cancer diagnosis and understanding how that news affects all members of the family. The next section presents information needed to understand treatment options, manage side effects, and use complementary therapies. The final section addresses end of life issues, including living wills. Additional features include a brief outline that begins each chapter, a glossary of terms, an index, and blank pages for note taking.
Assessment: Although the authors have met the goal for a useful reference with minimal medical jargon, the average cancer patient may still have difficulty understanding much of the technical information. This well written and up-to-date book would be useful to ancillary oncology care professionals in guiding cancer patients and their caregivers through information pertaining to their diagnosis, treatment, nutrition, and symptom management, and would also be useful to the high school or better educated cancer patient and family.