Palliative care focuses on the management of disease symptoms that produce discomfort and pain, compromise function, or otherwise undermine the quality of life of patients with progressive medical disorders. It is a fundamental part of clinical practice, the necessary companion to therapiesdirected at the prolongation of life and the cure of disease. As a clinical specialty, palliative care is just beginning to define itself in the United States. The appearance of Topics in Palliative Care meets the growing need for information in this rapidly evolving field. This first volume in this series concentrates in four crucial areas: pharmacotherapy of pain, psychosocial adjustment to cancer, management of delirium, and gastrointestinal disorders. Contributors at the forefront of their fields come from varied medical backgrounds to address the controversiesand clinical relevance of these topics from the viewpoint of their respective disciplines. They summarize the rapidly advancing scientific foundation of palliative care and discuss the methods necessary to meet patient needs, always keeping in mind practitioners at the bedside. Every volume of Topics in Palliative Care explores many interdisciplinary concerns in the area of palliative care, including the management of physical symptoms, psychosocial and spiritual concerns, and ethical issues. The in-depth treatment will be sure to appeal to professionals in a wide rangeof medical fields. Each author selected for inclusion presents the most up-to-date research and places it within the clinical context in a highly readable manner. All clinicians who treat patients with chronic life-threatening diseases will benefit from the numerous insights this bookprovides.