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World Cancer Day – a reading list

Every year, World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths, by raising awareness and education about the disease. Whether you are a health professional, a carer, patient, policy-maker, or simply looking to get involved – we can all do our bit to help reduce the global burden of cancer. On average, each day, 20,000 deaths around the world are caused by cancer. World Cancer Day offers the chance to reflect on what you can do to reduce the influence that cancer has on individuals, families and communities. With this in mind, we have compiled a reading list of chapters and articles for all those looking to better understand the make-up, management, and impact of cancer. Read on, and help beat cancer…

“What is cancer?” in the The Cancer Prevention Manual

Now in its second edition, The Cancer Prevention Manual tackles the myths in the media about what causes cancer, and focuses on the facts – backed up by medical and scientific research. It provides a guide to all the major issues in cancer prevention, and gives the reader information to inform their lifestyle choices, to reduce the risk of cancer.

Case examples and calls for action in Psychosocial Care of the Adult Cancer Patient

As life expectancy for patients with cancer grows, so too does the need to take care of the psychological and mental health needs of cancer patients. Evidence-based interventions allow psychologists and counsellors to help cancer patients and their families understand cancer and deal with the distress that cancer can bring.

“Cancer epidemiology and public health” in the Oxford Textbook of Global Public Health

The development of cancer epidemiology has formed the basis for knowledge about the causes of cancer and possible preventive strategies. The number of new cases of cancer which occurred worldwide in 2012 has been estimated at about 14,090,000, but significant advances in epidemiology might lead to the avoidance of a sizeable proportion of these human cancers.

“The use of adjunctive traditional Chinese medicine therapy” in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine is widely used in the treatment of patients with cancer, however no large-scale clinical studies have evaluated whether such medicines improve survival rates for patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. This study suggests that adjunctive therapy with traditional Chinese medicine results in better survival outcomes.

“Aetiology and epidemiology” in the Oxford Handbook of Oncology

This valuable handbook has been extensively updated, reflecting current policies in cancer care, making it an essential resource for students and practitioners in oncology. The easy-to-use format of the handbook ensures vital information can be accessed quickly, while also providing further reading for those wishing to gain a more detailed understanding.

“Management of melanoma” in the British Medical Bulletin

Melanoma is a potentially curable cancer, but around 20% of patients will develop disease which is beyond surgical clearance. Rising incidence, alongside breakthroughs in understanding its molecular biology and successful therapies related to the disease, now demand a more proactive, integrated approach to melanoma management.

“Oncology – understanding the history, diagnosis and treatment of cancers” in Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Board Review

The Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Board Review helps us to understand the diagnosis and treatment of both tumours and malignancies of unknown primary origin. Included in this specialist Oncology chapter are focuses on breast, cervix, colon, lung, ovary, prostate and testicle tumours, head and neck cancers, as well as the identification of complications and emergencies.

“Strengthening the global community for cancer control” in Cancer Control


For low and middle income countries, reliance on high cost solutions to cancer treatment (often designed for other environments) cannot be the way forward. So what is the solution? Simon Sutcliffe and Mark Elwood discuss population-based cancer control, and what it could mean for future progress in advancing global cancer care.

“Phase I trials in oncology – a new era has started” in Annals of Oncology

Oncology drug development is constantly changing, and early phase trials are currently being challenged with the arrival of multiple new therapies. These include not only novel targeted therapies, but also active immune therapies, antibody-drug conjugates, and adoptive cell transfers. This means that now is the time for a profound rethink of strategy.

“Care of unknown primary” in Challenging Concepts in Oncology 

This case-based guide to oncology delves into real-life cases, guiding the reader through scenarios with helpful learning tools including ‘Learning points’, ‘Clinical tips’, and ‘Evidence base’ boxes, which highlight the key features of each case study.

“Clinical Psychology in Palliative Care” in the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine 

In aiming to reduce psychosocial distress and maintain quality of life in patients and their caregivers, various psychological interventions are identified and discussed in this chapter. Such interventions can help with the fear of death and dying, manage anxiety, and reduce feelings of isolation, sadness, despair, and depression.

“Biomarker identification and clinical validation” in the Oxford Textbook of Oncology 

The latest edition of this indispensable text offers a multidisciplinary approach to oncology: offering insights into the growth and development of cancer cells, key principles of oncology, as well as treatment and support for the cancer patient.

“Evolutionarily stable anti-cancer therapies by autologous cell defection” in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 

Using game theory, this research in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health suggests an evolutionarily stable anti-cancer therapy using modified cancer cells to treat cancer, causing spontaneous tumour collapse. This will mean less evolution of resistance – and hopefully, improved treatment outcomes.

Featured Image Credit: ‘Book, Old, Clouds’ by Bonnybbx. CC0 via Pixabay.

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