Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
The first edition of Principles and Practice of Supportive
Oncology was published in 1998, the same year as the second edition
of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, arguably
the only other comparable text. A more up-to-date resource has been anxiously
awaited, and this book, after careful and critical scrutiny, is highly recommended.
Now titled Principles and Practice of Palliative Care
and Supportive Oncology, it is a medical textbook addressing the assessment,
pathophysiology, and treatment of pain and other symptoms, such as dyspnea,
fatigue, nausea and vomiting, delirium, anorexia, and many other problems
that are prevalent and can be difficult to manage in patients with cancer.
The authors speak to the management of syndromes (eg, cauda equina compression,
bowel obstruction), prognostication, treatments (eg, palliative surgery, palliative
radiation therapy), withholding and withdrawing treatment, physician-assisted
death, spirituality, and other topics that until recently had been rarely
addressed in medical textbooks. Several new chapters have been added, including
those on physiatric approaches and complementary and alternative therapies.
The book is directed toward physicians and other medical providers, such as
advanced practice nurses, who care for patients with cancer and other serious
illness and would like to have access to a reliable, understandable, and practical
assessment and treatment guide. The authors are largely prominent experts
in the fields in which they write and represent a virtual Who's Who of palliative medicine specialists in the United States.
The textbook is useful not only as a reference book but as a review book for
those studying for the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine certifying
examination and even as an easy-to-digest review to update and sharpen the
experienced provider's knowledge base.
Fanciullo GJ. Palliative Care. JAMA. 2003;289(17):2288–2289. doi:10.1001/jama.289.17.2288-a
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