Textbook of Breast Cancer – a Clinical Guide to Therapy (Third Edition)


G Bonadonna, GN Hortobagyi and P Valagussa (eds)
Taylor & Francis (2006)
ISBN: 1-84 184-418-7  
399 Pages plus index
RRP: $110.00

This hardback book brings together a range of international experts, comprehensively covering all aspects of current treatment options and issues related to the management of breast cancer. Simultaneously, they question current practice and pose areas for further research and development. It is well illustrated, extensively researched and thoroughly referenced and indexed. Each chapter begins with a useful short precise of the content so the reader is aware of what is included.

The editors discuss their dream to strive for individualised or tailor-made patient treatment regimens, to obtain optimal outcomes for the breast cancer patient. Interestingly, this is discussed in the very last chapter of the book which I read first, as I wanted to establish their overall objectives for compiling this text.

The book includes the usual chapters on epidemiology, pathology, surgery, radiation and various aspects of chemotherapy for breast cancer treatments. It also incorporates thought provoking chapters that are included to challenge the thinking of conventional treatment choices. These include sections on new imaging techniques, controversies in the management of metastatic breast disease and one chapter posing the question – “Conventional adjuvant chemotherapy: where are we 30 years later?” This links well with the chapter that extensively explores new therapies, such as new antimetabolites, taxanes and antiangiogenic agents. It was excellent to see the inclusion of a chapter on quality of life and psychosocial issues as just another section alongside the more clinical subjects. 

As an experienced oncology nurse I found this a concise, well-structured, easy-to-read text. I would however, recommend reading the last chapter first in order to establish the editors’ thoughts on breast cancer treatments and why they compiled the text.

This is an easy clinical guide to therapy as the title suggests and I would recommend it to nurses, doctors and other health professionals responsible for the management of breast cancer patients. It is a comprehensive thorough update on current research in all aspects of breast cancer care. 

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