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From The CriticsReviewer: Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: Each of the 34 chapters that comprise this book deals with a common presenting complaint. For example... "A 29 year-old with severe unilateral breast pain." A brief clinical vignette is followed by a logical sequence of questions and answers. Both benign and malignant breast problems are covered. The book is copiously illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs. Highly selected references supplement the text and are given at the end of the book, along with a useful cross-index by diagnoses.
Purpose: The editors state that their purpose is to provide a problem-oriented, "compact, concise, and practical textbook for doctors and ancillary staff." They have succeeded at least partially in accomplishing this task.
Audience: This book will be useful for practitioners — both physicians and nurses — who see women with breast complaints. Residents and students should find the unusually thorough coverage of common benign problems especially welcome. Surgical educators will find it to be an excellent resource for case-based learning sessions with students and residents.
Features: Benign breast complaints are exceptionally well covered, including mastodynia and cosmetic problems such as pronounced breast asymmetry. Recommendations are clearly stated. When alternatives exist, these are briefly explored. Although clearly an effort has been made to provide mainstream or consensus recommendations, the distinctly British flavor of many chapters may confuse some readers. As with any text organized by presented complaints, not all topics are thoroughly covered. For example, lobular neoplasia (or lobular carcinoma in situ) is mentioned only briefly. The illustrations are excellent. Color photographs are clustered in the center of the book, and duplicate black-and-white photographs are included at the appropriate part of the text, allowing the reader to choose whether or not to seek out the color illustration or to continue reading. Surgical techniques are described only in the context of overall management.
Assessment: This book supplements existing texts of breast disease by providing a patient-oriented focus. It should be used in conjunction with standard texts, as information is limited in some sections. The use of British terminology and drugs (not all are available in the U.S.) will be confusing to some readers. Despite these limitations, the text fulfills a useful purpose by returning the focus of the discussion to the patient and her (or, occasionally, his) presenting complaint.