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From The CriticsReviewer: Anders Merg, MD (Private Practice)
Description: This book clearly presents the standard of care in common oncologic problems and diseases. By providing an algorithmic approach for each disease combined with a concise, clinically relevant discussion of the supporting evidence-based medicine, the book allows the information to be easily ingested and assimilated.
Purpose: Recently, the effort to improve patients' outcomes has led to the development of treatment guidelines. However, early data suggest that varying awareness of these treatment guidelines may be a larger contributing factor to differences in treatment and, therefore, discrepancies in outcomes. This book meets the editors' goal by clearly disseminating the current canon of oncologic treatments, allowing a solid oncologic foundation to be built, leading to optimized patient outcomes.
Audience: The majority of contributing authors are from Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, while the remaining represent a good cross-section of major medical treatment centers. This book would be ideal for any senior resident, an invaluable review for oral boards, and the busy practitioner evaluating a spectrum of oncologic diseases.
Features: The book initially covers oncology diseases from an anatomic basis: alimentary tract (lips to anus), endocrine, pulmonary, breast, skin, soft tissue (sarcomas), skeletal, genitourinary, gynecologic systems, and the most common pediatric malignancies. It reviews diagnostic challenges that arise in oncology ranging from the occult cervical or axillary lymph node, malignant ascites or effusions, and the approach to a mediastinal, adnexal, or liver mass evaluation. The final chapters review emergencies related to oncology, pain management, nutritional support, and legal aspects of treatment withdrawal. The strength of the book is its clear and efficient condensation of the burgeoning oncologic information allowing evidence-based decisions in the selection of populations to screen, use of genetic testing, determination of surgical treatment, and integration of post-surgical therapy with surveillance. In part, this is from its mastery of combining clinical treatment algorithms with an accompanying clear distillation of the evidence driving these decision algorithms. Exceptional chapters included discussions on colon cancer and high-risk premalignant colorectal conditions. Some chapters seemed to be light in their discussions of forefront topics in oncology, such as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 and their affect on patient screening, surgical management, and surveillance. A common problem evaluated by oncologists are breast cysts and the incorporation of ultrasound, a topic not addressed in this edition.
Assessment: This book is a great addition to the oncology literature, filling the void between comprehensive, multivolume oncology textbooks and pocket handbooks. It helps define a new breed of clinically-oriented, evidence-based medicine books, and would benefit any practitioner evaluating multiple oncologic diseases.