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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Dee McEvoy, PhD, RN (Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical Center)
Description: This book is developed as a guide for patients with cancer as well as their families. The author believes that a well informed patient is better able to understand his or her disease, ask questions, and participate in decisions about care.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide extensive information to patients, their families, and friends. In this era of consumer involvement in healthcare, this is an important and worthy purpose.
Audience: The target audience is the healthcare consumer. Although the author has attempted to simplify the complex concepts involved in cancer care, this book will be understood only by an educated and sophisticated consumer. The author is certainly credible in his field. In addition, the contents have been reviewed by a host of interdisciplinary professionals.
Features: The text is arranged in a manner that is easily understood. It begins with a description of the book and a "How to Read" section, thus preparing the consumer for the information presented. It is written in black and white, using gold color to highlight certain areas. Each chapter begins with a boxed, gold area of "Summary of Key Facts." There are many illustrations and they are pertinent to the topic under discussion. Tables are used throughout and highlight the text.
Assessment: Directed toward the public, this text covers a variety of topics related to cancer, including the cause of cancer, descriptions of the most common cancers, conventional and unconventional treatments, attitudes of cancer, cancer research, detection and prevention, and living with cancer. It is useful only for the educated and sophisticated consumer of health care; less educated people will find it confusing. The appendixes are a useful addition, covering common medical terms, commonly asked questions, further readings, and sources for help.