1. Zorn, Sandra EdD, RN, Reviewer

Article Content

Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment.


Reviewed by Sandra Zorn, EdD, RN


Edited by Amy Treanin, Agnes Masney, and Jean Jenkins. Pittsburgh, Pa: Oncology Nursing Society, 2003. $68. ISBN 1-890504-31-9. 336 pages.


This book takes a difficult subject, presents it in an easy reading format, and applies it to the clinical care and management of the oncology patient. The co-editors and 12 authors provide the reader with a thorough, comprehensive overview of genetics that serves to enhance the practice of nurses dedicated to the care of patients/familes with a cancer diagnosis.


The information gained from the Human Genome Project has provided the framework for a clearer understanding of cancer and the associated impact on the continuum of cancer care. The publication describes genetics in oncology practice and provides the nurse with the information and tools to enhance practice and understanding of the cancer process. Pop-up blue boxes summarize key information in a succinct and eye catching format. References are provided at the conclusion of each chapter to support the reader's individual need for additional information. A glossary is included at the end of the book as an adjunct to understanding the language of genetics.


The first chapter draws the reader in discussing the importance of genetics in cancer care as well as demonstrating the impact this knowledege will have in the delivery of patient care. The next 2 chapters talk about the scope of cancer genetics in nursing practice and the specifics of the biology of cancer. The following several chapters surround the concept of genetic assessments, the risk of cancer, and the impact of this information in the management of the patient/family with a cancer diagnosis. Chapters also address the provision of genetic counseling and education, the components and development of a Cancer Genetics Clinic, and ethical considerations. The authors also provide the readers with information on education and credentialing in cancer genetics for those nurses who find this route of particular interest.


The text is highly recommended as an introduction to the subject of genetics in cancer. It gives healthcare providers an understanding of the basic concepts as well as the impetus to seek more information. The format is also amenable to the use of this book as a quick reference in the workplace. The publisher of the book-the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)-is committed to the promotion of excellence in nursing practice and quality nursing care for patients/families with a diagnosis of cancer. The ONS is in tune to its membership and provides its members with cutting edge material that supports the goal of outstanding care for this fragile and at-risk population.