Edited by Karen Bellenir
Fourth Edition (2010)
Omnigraphics Health Reference series
The Cancer Sourcebook for Women is one in a series of reference books by Omnigraphics. The back cover explains that the Omnigraphics health reference series is for “helping the lay person understand, manage and avoid serious illness” They go on to explain that the Cancer Sourcebook for Women offers updated information about gynaecologic cancers and other cancers of special concern to women. It explains cancer risks, methods used to diagnose and treat cancer and cancer survivorship. The book concludes with a glossary of cancer related terms and a directory of resources. This series has published extensively on a variety of topics and this is the fourth edition of the Cancer Sourcebook for Women.
The book itself comprises of eight parts (divided into 57 chapters) dealing with women’s health issues, cancer risks, specific cancer types, diagnosing and treating cancer and side-effects of cancer and their treatments, survivorship issues and additional help. It also provides a glossary of terms and directories for further information. The table of contents is easily navigated and flows in a logical manner. The manner in which the book is written is aimed at providing basic consumer information for the patient and the caregiver at home. The book is well written and easy to follow, with chapters offering basic information on most topics related to cancer care and women. In addition to this, the book also covers basic information on non-malignant issues particular to women. It is written with the general public in mind and as such may be too basic as a resource for health professionals. However, it would provide a starting point for further research or a basic resource for the student.
It should be noted that the book itself is aimed at the US consumer and as such all the statistics mentioned are American. In addition, there are sections on clinical trials, costs and private insurance that are not wholly applicable in Australia (though the basic descriptions are the same in both countries). All of the references provided are American and the section at the back on support groups and directories for additional information relate to organisations found in North America. If I were to recommend this book to my patients, I would be inclined to provide some local resources and web sites.
This book provides a good basic reference for anyone interested in cancer and other women’s health issues.