Prostate Cancer: Principles and Practice

Reviewed by:


W Kantoff et al (eds)
Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (2002)
ISBN: 0-7817-2006-0. 735 pages plus index.
RRP: A$427.90

This book provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of prostate cancer. It is well-written and set out, with clearly defined sections.

The editors aimed to ‘connect basic and clinical sciences’ and to ‘provide a current and comprehensive assessment of the field for all involved in research and treatment of prostate cancer’. They have certainly achieved these objectives.

The book is divided into eight sections. It commences with biology, which includes prostate cancer prevention. Epidemiology, then diagnosis and staging are discussed, including pathology and the use of tumour markers such as serum PSA. The remaining sections deal thoroughly with the various treatment options available for early prostate cancer through to hormone-refractory disease.

The treatment of early prostate cancer is divided into single and multimodality treatment, each given their own section. Surgery and radiation (including a chapter on brachytherapy), along with adjuvant and neo-adjuvant hormone therapies, are discussed. The treatment of advanced and then hormone-refractory disease follows, and the book concludes with snapshots of ‘where to from here’ with hormone refractory disease – current standards and future directions.

All aspects of the multidisciplinary care of prostate cancer are considered – mainstream and well-recognised treatments, as well as some which must still be regarded as largely experimental and outside the setting of a clinical trial, such as intermittent hormonal therapy. It is very pleasing to see a chapter dedicated to the psychosocial considerations of therapy. This chapter deals with (amongst other issues) the feared complications of erectile dysfunction facing men post-treatment. Urinary problems are dealt with only cursorily in this chapter, but are covered in more detail (as is erectile dysfunction) in the section on early prostate cancer.

There are many useful chapters, including some topics not usually combined in the one convenient textbook. Management of radiation injury to the bowel, and orthopaedic considerations for metastatic prostate cancer, are good examples. The chapter on quality of life in prostate cancer details the need to explore the impact of therapies on men and their families. This chapter is included in the early prostate cancer section and, perhaps because of this, unfortunately does not emphasise the importance of quality of life at the other end of the disease spectrum, namely hormone-refractory prostate cancer. In these men, these issues are often more important as therapies have not been shown to extend survival and can be potentially quite toxic in this patient group.

A thorough chapter on pain and symptom management in the hormone-refractory disease section guides the clinician through the often-complex issues surrounding these patients. It even includes practical advice on how to convert from one opioid to another and how to control constipation.

This book is certainly well worth reading for all those with an interest in the management of prostate cancer.

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