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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melody L. McKinney, DNS, RN (Indiana State University)
Description: Achieving success in cancer care is best accomplished with the active involvement of the patient and family. This book addresses the challenge of educating patients and families about participating in care and decision-making under the intense conditions often associated with a recent cancer diagnosis. As in the previous edition, an experienced radiation oncologist provides up-to-date basic cancer information. The new edition increases the emphasis on clinical trials and covers new treatments targeting specific types of cancer, individualized treatment, and molecular medicine therapies such as biomarkers, novel imaging, molecular signatures and profiling, and molecular-targeted therapy.
Purpose: This is intended to provide the information needed by patients and families to make informed treatment decisions and to increase their comfort level in managing life after a cancer diagnosis.
Audience: This book would be useful to the cancer patient, as well as to family, friends, and lay and professional caregivers. The author is an expert with over three decades of experience in the field of oncology.
Features: The nine chapters cover basic cancer topics such as what cancer is; diagnostic testing and staging; making treatment decisions; conventional treatments; molecular-targeted therapy; weighing risks and benefits; and clinical research trials. The final chapter includes four case studies that illustrate how decision treatments are made. The book also includes an index, bibliography, and four appendixes with information on cancer molecular biology, cost effectiveness, performance status scoring systems, and a patient checklist for recording diagnosis and treatment information.
Assessment: The author has met his goal to create a useful reference that provides cancer patients and their families with the information necessary to take an active role in treatment and management. This well written, up-to-date book is concise and easy to read and understand. Written in everyday language without being overly simplistic, the book provides clear explanations, examples, and practical advice that can serve as a framework for treatment decisions. Cancer is a life-altering experience and this book supports the author's belief that people with cancer can, with the appropriate tools, often lead fuller and more meaningful lives than they did before the diagnosis.