This book is intended primarily for trainees in clinical oncology, but members of other professions such as medical oncology, surgery, palliative care, nursing and radiography will also find it useful. The book started life as a set of lecture notes from the Cardiff Annual FRCR Part II course, but has since grown to include more topics than could possibly be covered during the three days of that course. Our approach in producing this volume has been to focus on practical suggestions appropriate to day-to-day decision making during the treatment of oncology patients. We are very grateful to our colleagues from Velindre and elsewhere, who are listed on page xi, for reviewing specific chapters and ensuring that the advice contained within is as widely applicable as possible.
The first seven chapters cover ‘generic’ topics which provide background information on cancer treatments. These are chemotherapy, biological and hormonal treatments, radiotherapy planning, research, emergencies and palliative care. The chapters which follow each focus on a tumour site or tumour type. In this latter group, the chapter layout is fairly consistent to help the reader navigate through the book. Thus, each chapter begins with background information on tumour types, anatomy, incidence, epidemiology, risk factors and aetiology. Next there are sections on pathology, routes of spread and, where appropriate, screening. These are followed by clinical sections on presentation, investigations, treatment and prognosis. Most of the chapters also discuss areas of current interest and clinical trials, reflecting the rapidly changing nature of clinical oncology where many areas of practice are open to debate. Where references are given, we have tried as much as possible to include those key publications which have influenced clinical practice. Towards the end of the book there is a series of ‘single best answer’ multiple choice questions, which will give the reader the opportunity to test their knowledge.
In a book of this length, it is not possible to provide as much of the subject as would be found, for example, in the larger multivolume oncology textbooks. Nevertheless, an attempt has been made to give an overview of clinical oncology practice at the present time, which we hope will be of interest and benefit to trainees.