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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Julia Edgar, PhD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This text provides an overview of cancer and associated dysphagia, including easily understood descriptions of the cellular processes associated with cancer, a team approach to management, and the various roles and responsibilities ascribed to team members.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to provide a resource for cancer team members regarding nutrition and swallowing problems associated with various types of cancer. The editors also have provided some information about communication disorders associated with cancer, though it is not the primary focus of the book. With the inclusion of a variety of cancer types, including brain tumors, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, and even HIV, the editors have provided a wealth of information heretofore not included in traditional texts that typically include discussions primarily on head and neck cancer.
Audience: This text is geared to the practitioner with previous experience in swallowing and/or nutrition. Basic principles of dysphagia management and nutrition are not the focus. It is, rather, how to apply those basic principles to the cancer patient. Targeted disciplines include speech-language pathologists, dieticians, nurses, physicians, and anyone else involved in the cancer treatment team. The editors, as well as the authors of the individual chapters, are all active members of functioning cancer treatment teams.
Features: This book provides a summary of cancer and cancer treatments as well as discussions of potential alterations in swallowing ability associated with a variety of cancer types/locations. All aspects are considered, including physiology, psychology, and pharmacology. Case presentations are used where appropriate to exemplify the discussed intervention approaches. Text is nicely supplemented with photographs, tables, and appendixes. A possible shortcoming is the title — it seems limiting, since the book covers nutrition and communication in addition to swallowing.
Assessment: No one discipline has the expertise to address all relevant areas of patient care. The information presented in this text will help to guide professionals through the changes associated with diagnostic and treatment phases of cancer so that the patient can best maintain hydration, nutrition, and reduce the likelihood of aspiration. This book is not intended to be a "how-to-treat- dysphagia" book, but rather builds on information presented in books such as Logemann's Evaluation and Treatment of Swallowing Disorders (Pro-Ed, 1998) and Groher's Dysphasia: Diagnosis and Management, 3rd Edition (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998). I feel it is an excellent addition to the library of individuals who serve the cancer patient.