D Ettinger (Ed)
Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers (2001)
ISBN: 0-7923-7248-4. 398 pages plus index.
Thoracic Oncology is the latest in theCancer Treatment and Research series, published in 2001. It is a concise, well-referenced book of just over 400 pages consisting of six parts: lung cancer, non small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, mediastinal tumours, malignancies of the pleura, and oesophageal cancer. All the sections are written by specialists in their field who obviously know the current questions and problems in management. While there are many books just on management of lung cancer alone, there are few such as this that cover the whole spectrum of intrathoracic disease.
As a specialist managing patients with all the diseases mentioned, I have found this book extremely interesting. It is common now, instead of going to a book, to search an Internet database for information. But how often do we find an overload of non-peer-reviewed information which is time consuming to sift through? This book is for the practicing thoracic surgeon or clinician, who already knows how to make the cut and do all the operations. Well-referenced material is discussed to give a broad scope for practice, and gives ideas for difficult situations which one might not have read about before, or didn’t understand from an evidence-based approach, without having to sift out unwanted information.
The book initially looks very dry, with few photos or drawings but, for the clinician who is currently practicing, one doesn’t need the black and white photos of shadows and masses commonly seen in the more basic texts. The actual body of information is very well put together. Each chapter has a very large reference section and this saves searching the Internet.
Overall I think this book delivers what it sets out to do – “provide the reader with an understandable, concise and comprehensive review of thoracic oncology”. I would think it is the type of book every practicing thoracic surgeon needs for quick reference for day-to-day, as well as rare, cases. It is good value and I highly recommend it.