Breast Cancer (2nd edition)


M Baum and H Schipper
Published by Health Press (2002)
ISBN: 1-903734-18-5  110 pages plus index


Breast Cancer is a UK publication, providing easy reference for clinicians at all levels.  The guide enables the reader to further source more detailed information, if required, by supplying key references at the conclusion of each segment.  There are nine segments exploring the basic concepts of breast cancer care. The use of diagrams and flow charts throughout the guide ensure key concepts are highlighted. The guide was published in 2002 and as a result there are some outdated points in the surgical procedures and management of advanced cancer segments.

The overview of breast cancer epidemiology is an easy to understand summation of current risk factors associated with breast cancer providing rationales behind past and present interpretation of risk.  The authors become entangled when attempting to explain the difficult topic of risks and benefits of early stage breast cancer.

The guide’s reference to rehabilitation in cancer care demonstrates the authors origin, however is beneficial in providing post-operative breast surgery education.  The purpose of participating in clinical trials provides general practitioners with the basic principles to explain to their patient the rationale for considering a clinical trial.  The guide acknowledges that the arena of breast cancer is changing and our approach to understanding the mechanisms behind its behaviour is challenging and there are many unanswered questions being explored.

Overall, the guide would be of interest to those involved with caring for people with breast cancer.  The guide would enable those who are not specialised in breast cancer care with enough information to answer questions and reassure their patient about the options being offered and why they are offered.  All care providers would benefit by having this guide available as a quick reference exploring the rationales behind clinical decisions and to differentiate facts from fancies and fallacies.

Maree Bransdon
Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Queensland

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