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A Conspiracy of Cells: The Basic Science of Cancer

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Wall
This book, written especially for the cancer patient, attempts to make the disease and its treatment less mysterious and less terrifying. Steen covers the pathology of cancer, its causes, and how tumors are formed as well as their growth and metastases in the first several chapters. Immune response and patient-tumor interactions are also covered. Two chapters provide overviews of cancer treatment: the first deals primarily with the treatments now in use or in clinical trials; the second deals with treatments that are becoming possibilities. Nearly half the book is devoted to the most common of the different types of cancer. Each of these chapters looks at a specific region of the body, explains the different forms the disease takes there, and looks into rates of occurrence, risk factors, natural history, or course of the cancer. Steen's contention that a "fully informed patient is better equipped to make . . . difficult choices" should provide an impetus for those suffering from this dreaded disease to read his book. But this is an important book for everyone because, as Steen says in his closing chapter, "if the present rates continue, 20% of us will die from cancer."
Drawing on some 2,000 primary sources, Steen, a cancer researcher at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, reveals the cutting edge of what researchers currently know about how cancer starts, develops, and responds to various treatments. He also examines in some depth 14 of the most common cancers. Steen believes in an aggressive approach to cancer and encourages patients to take an active role in combating their disease. Specifically directed to cancer patients but deserving of the widest possible audience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306445064
  • Publisher: Perseus Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 427
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.55 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Basic Pathology of Cancer 1
Ch. 2 Tumor Growth 23
Ch. 3 The Causes of Cancer 41
Ch. 4 Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes 63
Ch. 5 Tumor Energy Metabolism 77
Ch. 6 Tumor Invasion and Metastasis 93
Ch. 7 Physiological Interactions between Patient and Tumor 111
Ch. 8 Cancer and the Immune System 129
Ch. 9 Physiological Basis of Cancer Therapy 147
Ch. 10 The Leukemias 175
Ch. 11 Lymphomas and Myelomas 189
Ch. 12 Brain Tumors 203
Ch. 13 Head and Neck Tumors 219
Ch. 14 Lung Cancer 229
Ch. 15 Breast Cancer 243
Ch. 16 Liver Cancer 259
Ch. 17 Cancers of the Stomach and Esophagus 271
Ch. 18 Pancreatic Cancer 283
Ch. 19 Bladder and Kidney Cancers 291
Ch. 20 Colorectal Cancer 303
Ch. 21 The Gynecologic Cancers 315
Ch. 22 Prostate Cancer 331
Ch. 23 Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers 341
Ch. 24 A Conceptual Overview of Cancer 353
Ch. 25 Cancer Therapy: Prospects for the Future 367
Glossary 385
References 407
Index 421
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