Dx/Rx: Upper Gastrointestinal Malignancies: Cancers of the Stomach and Esophagus


M Shah
Jones and Bartlett (2006)
ISBN: 0-7637-4743-2  160 pages plus index
RRP $56.10

This book is one from a series titled Dx/Rx Oncology. This is an American publication with the author and series editor coming from the Division of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.

This handbook focuses on the practical management of stomach and oesophageal malignancies. As the title suggests, it reviews the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers with an emphasis on current practice standards and also highlighting points of contention. The layout is very easy to read and has a logical sequence, but at the same time is comprehensive. It is well organised, with a dot point format being used throughout the book.

In the introduction Shah gives statistics on the worldwide scope of these cancers. Together these two malignancies are second only to lung cancer in global cancer deaths. In western countries the incidence of both gastric cardia and oesophageal adenocarcinoma are increasing more rapidly than for any other type of cancer. The prevalence and mortality statistics underscore the relevance of gastrointestinal malignancies to all healthcare professionals in oncology.

The book is divided into three sections, the first being gastric cancer. Within this section are individual chapters on: epidemiology and pathology; staging; surgery; locally advanced gastric cancer; and treatment of metastatic disease and common non-adenocarcinoma gastric cancers. Section two is titled oesophageal cancer. The chapter topics covered are: epidemiology; staging; management of locally advanced disease; treatment of metastatic oesophagus cancer. Section three covers both the cancers and contains two chapters, the first is common and unusual complications and the final chapter is a look into the future discussing stem cells and chemotherapy. In the epilogue the author summarises areas where questions still remain unanswered regarding disease management.

This book summarises the diagnostic and treatment issues for oesophageal and gastric cancers in a succinct and well organised manner and would be a useful addition to the library of any health professional dealing with people with these types of cancers.

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