Colorectal Cancer

Reviewed by:


I Taylor et al
Published by Health Press (2002)
ISBN: 1-903734-08-8.
72 pages plus index.
RRP: £12.00

This new edition, soft covered book is one of a series of Fast Fact guides published by Health Press. It is a relatively inexpensive text and would make a valuable reference for any oncology unit library.

It is quite simple to read and its target audience could be nurses and other allied health care professionals wanting a disease-focused clinical update. It could also be used as a pocket guide for junior medical officers/students beginning in the colorectal cancer area, given its size, descriptive content and publication date of 2002.

It is evidence-based and provides the reader with a simple guide to the management of colorectal cancer. Chapters include: epidemiology and pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and staging, screening high-risk families, treatment of the primary disease, large bowel obstruction, advanced and recurrent disease, multidisciplinary management and a section on future trends. It has an amazing amount of colour figures, tables and pictures that further assist the reader to understand the management of colorectal cancer. The layout and excellent use of diagrams, photos and imaging graphics present an informative guide to clinical practice.

Although there is reference to UK and US statistical data in the epidemiology section, there is reference to worldwide variation in incidence and it is therefore pertinent in an Australian setting.

My only criticism is that the guide is disease-focused and does not provide any significant reference to the experiences of a person diagnosed with colorectal cancer undergoing treatment, or the impact on the patient and their family/carers. It mentions the need for a support system and supportive services. The section on multidisciplinary management only covers multi-modality management as it describes the treatment of colorectal cancer by the clinical disciplines. This section could be further enhanced to include a summary of the recent evidence surrounding the psychosocial needs of a person diagnosed with colorectal cancer and the role of the multidisciplinary team in attending to these needs.

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