Title: Genetics for Health Professionals in Cancer Care: From Principles to Practice
Edited by: Chris Jacobs, Patricia Webb and Lorraine Robinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
What was it like?
This excellent book is aimed at health professionals who do not specialise in cancer genetics but who, through their clinical practice, have frequent contact with patients with hereditary cancer or a family history of cancer. It is written by specialists in both genetics and cancer care and while there is a rigorous academic/research focus this is balanced with discussion of clinical practice and practical application to patient care.
The book has nine sections covering genetics, cancer risk assessment, detection, risk reduction, genetic counselling and hereditary cancers. Each section starts with an introductory chapter, which summarises the current evidence and application to practice; there are then further chapters in each section discussing issues of relevance. Finally there is a summary of the themes discussed and references for further reading
The book is accessible although an understanding of the subject would help the reader as it is incredibly detailed at times. There is an extremely helpful list of abbreviations at the beginning (which is far more useful than at the end where such things are usually located). Each topic is well written and in a style that is interesting, educational and engaging for the reader. The book is well referenced throughout and the reference list at the end of each chapter is useful if any further reading is required.
What were the highlights?
Each section has a detailed introduction at the beginning; the chapters are then divided with easy to follow sub-headings and finally a summary. This ensures that complex ideas are kept manageable. The expertise of the authors is apparent throughout the text. There are also guided activities and suggestions on further reading to ensure that the reader consolidates their learning and keeps the book grounded in individual practice
Strengths & weaknesses:
The focus of the book is cancer with a proven genetic link such as breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal and gastric however key points regarding risk assessment, treatment, and screening for hereditary malignant disease are transferable.
Who should read it?
This book is relevant to doctors, clinical nurse specialists and senior health professionals working with patients with hereditary cancer or genetic risk in a variety of clinical settings including the primary, secondary and palliative care environment.