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From The CriticsReviewer: Jamie H Von Roenn, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book, devoted to the approach to patients with advanced breast cancer, is a part of the Palliative Care Consultations series. The book focuses on the multidisciplinary approach to the symptom management of patients with advanced breast cancer.
Purpose: Both the series editor and the editor of this volume highlight the importance of integrating effective palliative interventions into the anticancer treatment of women with advanced breast cancer. While worthy objectives, the book falls short of clarifying the importance of a multidisciplinary approach for women with breast cancer across the continuum of care.
Audience: The editor does not clearly identify the audience for this book. The information regarding the use of anticancer therapy for palliation is written for nononcologists while the discussions of symptom management is not specific enough to provide a ready reference for most practitioners.
Features: The book has a clear focus on the treatment of the physical and psychosocial issues which affect the sense of well being of women with advanced breast cancer. The importance of the role of anticancer therapy as effective palliative care for this patient population is an important component of the discussion. It is unfortunate, however, that the importance of palliative care throughout the continuum of breast cancer care is not as clearly articulated throughout the chapters.
Assessment: This volume presents a decidedly Canadian/European view of palliative care issues for women with advanced breast cancer. As an overview of the issues, this is an excellent book. It does not, however, consistently provide an approach to specific symptom assessment and management that can be readily applied in the clinic.