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Patient-Centered Guides

Library Journal Starred Review

of Childhood Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors

* Shiminski-Maher, Tania & others Childhood Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors: A Guide for Families, Friends & Caregivers
O'Reilly. (Patient-Centered Guides). 2001. c.500 p.
ISBN 0-596-50009-2. pap. $29.95

For parents, there are few childhood diagnoses more frightening than a brain tumor. This is exactly the book to have in that situation. The latest entry in the excellent "Patient-Centered Guides" series, it maintains a nice balance between providing solid clinical information and sharing stories of emotional support.

Chapters cover basic information about central nervous system (CNS) anatomy and physiology, types of tumors, and common procedures and treatments. Also discussed are personal and family issues such as dealing with school absences, making sure that siblings are not overlooked, asking for and accepting help from friends and family members, dealing with the emotional and financial disruptions brought on by illness, and facing death.

Each chapter is sprinkled with small vignettes, told in the first person by parents of children with CNS tumors and at times by the children themselves. Appendixes include books, organizations, and web sites to consult for further information, as well as normal blood values for many commonly done tests.

The authors include nurses experienced in caring for children with such tumors and the mother of a pediatric patient. Highly recommended for all public and health-related libraries.

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