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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marlene S. Foreman, BSN, MN (Hospice of Acadiana, Inc.)
Description: This is a very informative and necessary book for physicians working with patients at all stages of cancer. It begins with historical information and continues with chapters on specific cancers.
Purpose: The aim of the book is to improve physician skills in prognostication near the end of life in patients with advanced cancer. Accurate prognosis would assist patients and families in making legal, ethical, and medical decisions.
Audience: The book is primarily for practicing physicians in a variety of specialties including palliative care and hospice. Oncologists, internists, and family physicians also would be able to use this book. In addition, advanced practice nurses, researchers, and other medical personnel may find value. This edited book is written by a large group of qualified authors, which provides a broad perspective.
Features: Part I covers the early history of medical prognosis and moves to the present in a very interesting manner. It includes legal and ethical challenges to accurate prognosis and the effects on the patient and family. Chapters in part II are devoted to specific common cancers and prognoses based on the literature and evidence-based medicine. Part III focuses on prognostication in palliative care, describing metastatic difficulties, and pain and symptomatology suffered by patients that impact prognosis. It is very difficult to find one specific "best" in this book. As a clinical nurse specialist, I was fascinated and read the entire book cover to cover. A number of very obvious typographical errors should have been resolved before publication, but it was not difficult to determine what the word should have been.
Assessment: Overall, the quality of this book is outstanding. It is an informative and very necessary book for physicians and other medical personnel.