Uterine Cancer


AF Fuller Jr, MV Seiden, RH Young
Published by BC Decker (2004)
ISBN: 1-55009-163-8


This text on uterine cancer is an excellent addition to the American Cancer Society’s Atlas of Clinical Oncology, which is a series of monographs on various cancer sites.

The editors are experts in gynaecologic oncology, medical oncology and pathology, and their stated aim “is to provide a comprehensive overview of epidemiologic, pathologic, biologic and treatment paradigms relevant to both epithelial cancers and mesenchymal tumours of the uterine corpus”.

They have succeeded in their aim. They have produced a readable, well-organised and informative overview of their subject. A wide-range of people including gynaecologists, oncologists and anyone with an interest in endometrial carcinoma, which is the most common gynaecological cancer in the developed world, will enjoy this book.

There are 16 chapters from 23 contributors, 18 of whom are from the Harvard Medical School, one from Vancouver, three from Toronto and one from Miami and the text naturally presents a North American perspective. However, this does not detract from the wealth of well referenced information (up to 2002) which brings a fresh and detailed examination of several topics not usually covered in standard texts.

As well as discussing the usual aspects of pathology and treatment of endometrial carcinoma, there is a thoughtful chapter by Arlan Fuller on Prognostic & Predictive Factors in Endometrial Carcinoma, which considers “the importance of prognostic factors that are independently important in predicting survival or recurrence of disease”.

One of the major strengths of this text is the inclusion of detailed discussion on controversial topics. Gynaecologists will be particularly interested in the chapters on screening for endometrial carcinoma, the value of pelvic ultrasound, the significance of positive peritoneal cytology, the evaluation and management of women who are on Tamoxifen therapy and the role of conservative hormonal treatment for women with endometrial cancer who wish to preserve fertility.

Oncologists will find helpful and critical chapters on radiation and post-surgical management, and the management of recurrent and metastatic disease, which is a reminder that endometrial carcinoma is not such a ‘benign’ disease. The chapters on Pathology and Molecular Pathogenesis of endometrial cancer are beautifully written and make difficult subjects accessible to the non-expert.

The text is well laid out with good clinical and pathological photographs. The accompanying CD contains the full text and images which is good for travellers.  This is a book one can “dip” into or read systematically if depth of knowledge is required.  I have no hesitation in recommending this text to anyone with an interest in endometrial carcinoma.  Gynaecologists should own a copy and all medical and hospital libraries should have this book on their shelves.

Ian Hammond
King Edward Memorial Hospital, WA

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