In recent years, rapid progress in the understanding and treatment of cancer has occurred, with many new and exciting treatment therapies now available to clinicians. Cancer mortality rates have begun to fall as greater and greater progress has been made in both the diagnosis and treatment of malignant diseases. Moreover, there has been considerable progress in our understanding of the basic biology and molecular genetics of cancer as well as the development and availability of an increasing array of novel therapies to complement the traditional modalities of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These modalities greatly improved the ability of oncologists to reduce the adverse impact of cancer and its treatment; furthermore, they have enabled patients to complete potentially curative treatments in an optimal fashion. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines are emerging from a variety of professional organizations to guide clinical decisions and optimize the management of patients with malignant diseases.
However, with literally hundreds of medical journals attempting to disseminate the vast amount of new medical knowledge about cancer, it has become an enormous challenge for both trainees and clinical oncologists to remain abreast of the latest and most reliable of new information to provide the best care for their patients. Therefore, a need remains for an updated and portable cancer-care resource that enables the physician to treat the patient with the best information currently available. As part of the Oxford American Mini-Handbook series, this concise yet comprehensive pocket guide provides primary care practitioners, oncologists and other healthcare professionals who regularly treat cancer patients with essential, evidence-based guidance on the all major elements related to cancer supportive care, including pain management and end-of-life care. Edited by a world renowned expert in oncology, this volume outlines management and complication issues common in cancer supportive care, including metabolic emergencies, febrile neutropenia, and spinal cord compression.
In the final section, the authors address both physical and psychological end-of-life concerns: nausea and vomiting, anorexia, depression, and caregiver and patient distress. Supplemented with numerous, helpful point-of-care tables and figures, this volume will serve as a key tool for any busy clinician seeking to provide informed and compassionate cancer supportive care.
Gary H. Lyman, M.D.
Professor of MedicineDirector, Health Services and Outcomes Research
Division of Medical OncologyDuke University Medical Center and
The Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center