Predicting survival and other outcomes is increasingly being recognized as an important skill for palliative care doctors and nurses, oncologists, and other healthcare professionals who treat patients with advanced cancer. Accurate prognosis is essential if we are to offer quality of care and 'a good death', as well as to aid decision-making. There is much prognostic information available that is scattered throughout the palliative care and oncological literature but this is the first time it has been gathered systematically in one place.
Glare and Christakis, leaders in the field of prognosis, bring together a team of international contributors from across the fields of palliative care and oncology. This comprehensive but practical guide begins with the principles of prognostication, including formulating the prediction and then communicating it. Topics such as statistical issues, evidence-based medicine, and the ethics of prognostication are also covered. The second section addresses prognostication in 15 specific cancer sites once they have reached the advanced stage, following a standard template for consistency and easy access to the key information. The third section deals with prognostication in patients with a variety of common clinical conditions at the end of life, such as bowel obstruction, hypercalcaemia, and brain metastases. In addition, survival curves are provided within each chapter, palliative care conditions are examined for the first time, and a summary table of long and short term prognosis ensures this book remains practical.