Handbook of Palliative Care in Cancer

James Metz, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Palliative Care Authors: Alexander Waller, MD and Nancy L. Caroline, MD
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann
ISBN: 0-7506-9744-X

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The Handbook of Palliative Care in Cancer is an excellent reference for any physician or nurse who deals with cancer patients. The authors have drawn on their extensive experiences to create this important resource. Dr. Waller is currently the acting medical director of the Tel Hashomer Hospice in Israel. Dr. Caroline is Adjunct Professor of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and medical director of the Hospice of the Upper Galilee in Israel.

The book is practical and user-friendly. It is one of those books that readers will want to keep close at hand or in their laboratory coat for quick reference. The authors discuss some of the most frequent problems encountered by the end-stage cancer patient. Each section addresses a particular problem and includes the definition, incidence, pathophysiology, and clinical findings. A step by step guide to the management of each issue is included in the reviews.

There is an appendix that includes a review of the most commonly prescribed drugs in palliation. Drugs are arranged alphabetically by generic name. Each review includes the trade name(s), mechanism of action, pharmacology, indications in palliative care, contraindications, side effects, incompatibility profile, and recommended dose of administration. There are also informative sections on the use of subcutaneous infusions and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

The book is an excellent reference for the health care provider who deals with issues of palliation and cancer. It is loaded with charts and easy to read graphs. The Handbook of Palliative Care in Cancer is highly recommended by OncoLink.


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