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It is not difficult to assemble facts and figures about any aspect of cancer care or science these days. Five minutes at a keyboard can produce notable abstracts concerning any topic. Some excellent textbooks, of intellectual and physical weight, are found on most oncologists' bookshelves. So why write a book on problem solving in oncology? The answer lies in the need for individuals to assimilate information quickly and easily synthesize in a form to make it relevant to the problems that they meet in their everyday professional clinical activities. Many electronic and textbook sources are excellent at providing a particular piece of information but may not set it in the context of real-life clinical cases.

Problem Solving in Oncology has been written to provide the current evidence on a topic, brought together in a clinically relevant real-life, case-based format. It has been developed to serve the needs of both trainees in oncology and practising consultants. Each chapter has been developed by an interplay between an oncology trainee and an established consultant and the breadth of the topics covers most, but not all, aspects of oncology. Each chapter relates to the sort of cases which oncology professionals see every day and brings recent evidence on management to bear upon that case. Individual chapters can be read quickly and easily and serve both for education and training and to update the reader. We have kept the book small enough and short enough to be carried around, recognizing that reading of this kind will often be done on trains and planes and at home.

The editorial team is drawn from leading cancer centres in the UK and Ireland which combine large clinical practices with internationally recognized expertise in both biomedical sciences and patient-centred research. We hope that readers will find this book a uniquely useful resource to support them in their training and professional development in an enjoyable and accessible way.

The Editors
October 2007

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