Fast facts: Colorectal cancer

Reviewed by:


Irving Taylor, Julio Garcia-Aguilar and Robyn Ward
Health Press Third Edition (2010)
ISBN: 978-1-905832-02-6
RRP: EUR15.00

74-77-88-15-D0-E3-44-80-E5-B1-B5-A9-52-F4-3C-08Fast Facts: Colorectal Cancer does exactly what it says on the tin. This book is concise, easy to read and easy to dip in and out of in the sections you want to know about. It is easy to comprehend and follows a logical progression if you want to read it from cover to cover. As it is only 94 pages long, it is feasible to read the book from cover to cover in one sitting, and in fact, I did this. It packs a great deal of relevant information into not a lot of pages.

This book would be suited to people new to the area of colorectal cancer including nurses, students, allied health workers and clinicians. It provides a thorough and succinct overview of colorectal cancer. The latest facts and figures are also presented from epidemiology to treatments to future directions. At the end of each chapter references are provided, if you want more in-depth information on a particular subject it is easy to find further resources. A table of ‘key points’ is also presented at the end of each chapter, providing an easy way to refresh your memory, or a simple way to digest the information presented in the chapter.

Each chapter is colour coded on each page, making it very easy to find the section you are interested in. Chapters are set out as follows:

  • Epidemiology and pathophysiology
  • Clinical presentation
  • Diagnosis and staging
  • Screening and surveillance
  • Treatment of primary disease
  • Large bowel obstruction
  • Advanced and recurrent disease
  • Multidisciplinary management
  • Future trends

The illustrations, clinical photographs, graphs and tables provide extra interest and another dimension in understanding the information presented. The only drawback is that most statistical information is presented from the American or UK perspective, even though the three authors are from US, UK and Australia respectively. However, Australia is represented in the ‘useful addresses’ section. A glossary is also provided.

Based on the strength of this fantastic small book, I would purchase other ‘Fast Facts’ titles in areas of interest. Even though the book is small, all the information is pertinent, up-to-date and easily understood. A great read that I will refer to in the future and use when I am precepting students or new staff members.

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