Concise Clinical Oncology

  • ISBN 9780750688369

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Cancer will affect one in two of the population by the year 2015 and large amounts of money are currently being invested in improving and reorganising UK cancer services. Most healthcare professionals will at some point be involved in the management of cancer patients. In spite of this, oncology has traditionally had a low profile when it comes to medical education. During my training as a clinical oncologist, I found it a time-consuming and often frustrating exercise trying to extract useful information relevant to UK oncological practice from the huge body of cancer literature. This made me realise how difficult it would be for medical students, junior doctors, nurses and other busy healthcare professionals to grasp a full understanding of the principles and practice of modern oncology. I therefore decided to write a concise textbook on clinical oncology with the aim of condensing a large amount of cancer information into an easily accessible and readable form that was relevant to everyday UK practice.
The book is divided into three main parts: The first part is concerned with general principles of oncology and covers the basic biology and pathology of cancer, as well as the main investigation and treatment modalities, and principles of palliative and supportive care. The roles of screening and clinical trials are also discussed. The second part deals with the individual types of cancer, and for the sake of quick and easy reference, these are listed in alphabetical order. The background information section of each chapter covers epidemiology, aetiology, pathology and overall prognosis. Other sections then cover diagnosis, staging, clinical presentation, management and future perspectives. The final section of each chapter describes the typical problems encountered in advanced disease and offers practical advice on managing these problems. The third part is concerned with complications of cancer and oncological emergencies. Background information, diagnosis, management and prognosis are discussed. The appendix provides information about radiation tolerances of normal tissues, chemotherapy drugs, useful websites and definitions of performance status.
In order to keep the book as concise as possible, I have only included figures and photographs where I felt they would make a significant contribution to the understanding of the text. The style of writing aims to pack as much information in as possible whilst still being very readable. The chapters on the more common cancers are purposely longer and more detailed than the less common cancers. I have very much concentrated on UK oncology practice and included the up-to-date National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommendations for the relevant cancer sites. In addition, information on cancer incidence and mortality is from UK sources such as Cancer Research UK and the Office for National Statistics. The book is mainly aimed at medical students, junior doctors in both medical and surgical specialties, palliative care doctors, GPs, oncology trainees in their first few years of training, nursing staff, radiographers and other healthcare professionals involved in managing cancer patients. It will also be useful for oncology consultants who need a very brief refresher course in the cancer sites they no longer specialise in.
I hope this book will be very educational, informative and fun to read. Most importantly I hope it gives the reader an accurate overview of the modern management of cancer in the UK without needing to spend hours in the library!
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