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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Psycho-oncology deals with all phases of cancer and its treatment, including psychological issues of being at risk, mood symptoms during detection and treatment, and end-of-life issues in palliative care. This is a comprehensive look at the field, which had its beginnings in the 1970s. The previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The authors' aim is to present "the many ways in which patients' experience of illness can be understood and improved: the core of all psychosocial interventions, noted by Peabody in 1927: the need of patients to feel that those providing their care are interested in them as a person."
Audience: Although an audience is not specified, mental health clinicians, students, postgraduate trainees, medical surgical personnel, and researchers would be typical readers. The editors and numerous contributors represent an international authorship from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and China.
Features: An introduction to the history of psycho-oncology begins the book. The authors then discuss various behavioral and psychological factors related to cancer including tobacco use, sun exposure, and social environment. Cancer screening is discussed at length including colorectal, cervical, breast, and prostate, along with genetic testing. Fifteen chapters are dedicated to psychological issues related to the site of cancer. There are sections on management of physical symptoms and psychiatric disorders. The authors spend much time on specific interventions such as individual and group psychotherapy, expressive therapy, meditation, physical exercise, and psychosocial interventions. Family issues are discussed in terms of caregiving and bereavement. Finally, training programs for professionals including oncology staff, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and chaplains are given ample treatment. The numerous tables and figures are extremely educational. Each of the 97 chapters consists of just a few pages, but they manage to present a lot of information. Numerous references enable interested readers to research further.
Assessment: This is an exhaustive look at psycho-oncology, but it is easy to read with helpful tables and figures. It should be in the libraries of both mental health and medical-surgical professionals and students.