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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dana Smetherman, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This book is designed as a teaching file, but attempts a patient-focused approach rather than strictly a presentation of a group of cases. It presents the material with an emphasis on management rather than simply identification of imaging findings.
Purpose: The author's stated purpose is to emphasize the clinical elements of the practice of breast imaging. This book may fill a niche, particularly as a teaching tool for residents, by taking them through the evaluation of patients with breast imaging abnormalities in a step-by-step fashion that mimics the daily practice of breast imaging radiologists. From this standpoint, the book meets the author's objectives.
Audience: The content is appropriate for radiology residents.
Features: The book covers the spectrum of breast pathology encountered in breast imaging. The strength of the book lies in its sequential approach to patient management from detection to diagnosis. Rather than divide the material into pathologic categories (DCIS, invasive carcinoma, etc.) or distinct imaging findings (calcifications, masses, architectural distortion, etc.), the author takes readers through the material one patient at a time. Both findings that are characteristically benign based on imaging and findings suspicious for carcinoma are covered. The fact that the book mimics the daily practice of the radiologist engaged in breast imaging is somewhat unique in this field. This perspective also contributes to one of the shortcomings of the book. Because of the organization, the reader is frequently forced to flip back to relevant images that are referred to later in the text. This limits the usefulness of the book as a teaching file and is occasionally even frustrating. Early in the book, the author cautions the reader to expect repetition. This caveat is warranted as there are some instances where multiple paragraphs are repeated in different cases with little alteration. On the plus side, the images are excellent, particularly the mammograms. The author also makes use of MRI, a modality that is assuming an increasingly frequent role in the imaging of breast abnormalities, as she outlines the imaging management of patients.
Assessment: This book is probably most useful to residents or, perhaps, radiologists very early in practice who feel they need to gain confidence in managing patients with breast imaging findings. The author's other teaching file book (Breast Imaging Companion, 2nd edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001)) may be more helpful (and possibly more efficient) as a traditional teaching file, however.