Description: This is the third edition of a compact handbook that covers the full spectrum of surgical oncology. It replaces the second edition, which was published in 1999. The aithors are primarily current or former MD Anderson faculty or fellows, and the whole presents a balanced institutional approach.
Purpose: This book attempts to outline basic management approaches based upon MD Anderson experience. It is "intended to serve as a practical guide to the established surgical oncology principles for treating cancer as it involves each organ system in the body." These are worthy objectives for a compact handbook and the authors have met their stated goals.
Audience: This book, written initially for trainees, has been revised to reach a wider audience including practicing surgeons. I believe it will indeed be of use to students, residents, fellows, and trained surgeons who care for patients with cancer. The editors are highly credible authorities in the field, and the chapter authors are similarly extremely well-qualified.
Features: The first 20 chapters (of 24 in total) are devoted to specific malignancies, sites, or problems. Thus the book begins with two chapters on breast cancer (noninvasive and invasive) and encompasses essentially all sites. Special problems, such as metastatic cancer of unknown primary site, are also included. The last four chapters cover more general topics such as oncologic emergencies, biologic therapy, nutrition, and pharmacotherapy. The chapters on metastatic cancer of unknown primary site and oncologic emergencies are particularly welcome and well-written. Curiously, there is no chapter on radiation oncology. The book is sparsely illustrated and there is a relative paucity of tabular material or algorithms, both useful devices for summarizing information.
Assessment: This book remains a unique tool that will be welcomed by trainees and by practicing surgeons. The new edition contains a wealth of new information and replacement of the previous edition is quite warranted. It will nestle comfortably in the pocket of a white coat as a convenient and often-consulted ready reference source.