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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher Loiselle, MD (University of Washington Medical Center)
Description: This is an overview of the treatment of head and neck cancers with an emphasis on the implications of those treatments for quality of life. The book details multimodality care as it pertains to each cancer site, and provides information on epidemiology and patient outcomes with treatment. It describes technical delivery of radiation therapy, and dedicates a section to long-term side effects of radiation therapy and quality of life.
Purpose: This book is designed to evaluate and summarize the evidence for functional preservation and quality of life following treatment for head and neck cancer. While many books describe cancer and its treatment, this one is designed to selectively emphasize treatment technique and its resultant impact on the patient's quality of life. The authors are successful in providing a book that examines outcomes more deeply than in the relatively simple terms of local cancer control and overall patient survival.
Audience: This is useful for wide range of practitioners in radiation oncology. It provides a good overview of the basic management of head and neck cancer, and its focus on functional preservation and quality of life is helpful for anyone taking care of these patients.
Features: The first of the three main sections details the epidemiology and treatment outcome of cancers by site, with a description of the current standard of care in management strategies. The second section elaborates on the various treatment techniques available in head and neck cancer, specifically describing applications for brachytherapy, pertinent techniques for patient setup, image guidance, and information on the contribution of chemotherapy and targeted agents. The third section addresses the issues of toxicity, quality of life, prevention, rehabilitation, and supportive care, including chapters on late radiation side effects, objective measurement of quality of life and toxicity, and coordination of multidisciplinary care. The book is nicely organized with key points at the beginning of each chapter. CT, MRI, and radiation therapy planning images are in full color.
Assessment: This is a very good book. It provides a unique perspective of the field of head and neck radiation oncology with its focused look at quality of life - an issue that continues to gain in importance as we move forward with achievements in treatment.