Synopses & Reviews
This volume challenges physicians, nurses and social workers to deliver optimal supportive therapy and care to cancer patients in all stages and forms of their manifold neoplastic diseases. Too often, supportive measures such as pain control and psychosocial support are regarded as aspects of "terminal care" of cancer patients or approached in a suboptimal, isolated fashion by various monodisciplinary specialists. General and holistic supportive care, however, which integrates the professional skills of many disciplines is needed right from the beginning of cancer diagnosis. Medical, nursing, social and psychological care should be adapted subsequently as required to the various stages of the illness. Only through this interdisciplinary approach will the patient feel truly supported during his crucial fight with cancer. The chapters of the volume deal with all important aspects of supportive care: pain control, control of bleeding and infection, psychosocial support, nursing support, side effects of cancer therapy, quality of life, education about cancer, as well as supportive care for children with cancer and families affected by neoplastic diseases.
The symposium on supportive care in cancer patients, which took place in St. Gallen, Switzerland, on February 18-21, 1987, wel- comed renowned experts in the field and more than 600 partici- pants from 25 countries with the aim of stimulating discussion on how to improve our professional skills and personal attitudes to- ward cancer patients in all stages of their disease. Why did we or- ganize such a symposium on supportive care in cancer patients? Recent decades have witnessed remarkable success in cancer treat- ment, and we have learned how to cure a finite number of neoplas- tic diseases. Some malignant tumors that previously entailed high fatality rates, such as leukemias, lymphomas, and testicular can- cers, can now be cured, even when at an advanced stage. Yet it seems to many that our struggle to improve results and to fight death from cancer has also imposed greater toxicity on patients. Conventional scientifically based oncology has only recently made adequate efforts to improve the subjective quality of life of cancer patients, for example through prophylaxis against emesis, nausea, and scalp hypothermia, pain control and the development of psy- chosocial support structures. The search for less toxic and yet equally effective treatment measures has not been one of our pri- mary goals in the past. Supportive care has always been part of nurses' professional aim, even though many have not known how best to offer it.
Table of Contents
Contents: Management of Cancer Pain.- Management of Bleeding and Infection.- Management of Treatment Side-Effects.- Palliative Surgery in Cancer Patients.- Cancer and Nutrition.- Psychosocial Care in Cancer Patients.- Cancer in Children and Families.- Quality of Life/Education About Cancer.- Subject Index.