Atlas of Diagnostic Oncology (3rd Edition)


A Skarin
Published by Mosby (2002) Distributed in Australia by Elsevier
ISBN: 0-7234-3206-6. 610 pages plus index.
RRP: A$421.69


This is the third edition of the Atlas of Diagnostic Oncology, probably the best oncology ‘picture book’. It comes from the Harvard Medical School and associated hospitals but in a book like this the lack of geographical spread of the authors is of no problem.

In essence this is a series of photo-essays with colour pictures covering the entire spectrum of oncology. There are pictures of patients demonstrating physical signs. There are pictures of CTs, MRIs and imaging. There are pictures of surgical specimens and anatomical pathology and cytology. There are pictures of radiotherapy machines, scanners and other toys. And there are tables of many colours listing staging criteria and basic epidemiology and molecular information for all types of cancer.

The book is quite up-to-date and contains pictures of PET scans as staging investigations and pictures of sentinel node biopsy surgery for primary therapy. There are chapters on molecular biology, paediatric tumours, haematologic malignancies, AIDs-related malignancies, and a chapter of pictures showing all the skin reactions and other visible complications of chemotherapy. The text deals briefly with presenting symptoms and signs, diagnostic workup and the basics of treatment. For a medical oncologist these are not sufficient for a textbook, and I suspect a radiologist or pathologist will find the pictures inadequate for a textbook on cancer imaging or pathology. However for a medical oncologist or medical oncology trainee who enjoys looking at pictures then this book is ideal. As well as the book the purchase price includes a CD-ROM with all the colour slides that it is claimed (I haven’t tried this yet) can easily be imported into other software such as powerpoint to help give lectures or other presentations. At roughly $400 the book and CD-ROM can be recommended to all medical oncology departments and I suspect many individuals would want their own copy.

M Millward
Sydney Cancer Centre
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Camperdown, NSW

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