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August 17, 1979

Tumours: Basic Principles and Clinical Aspects

Author Affiliations

M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute Houston

JAMA. 1979;242(7):660. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300070056028

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It takes a brave person to attempt to write single-handedly a book on the "basic principles and clinical aspects" of the rapidly expanding subject of oncology. It would take a genius to succeed.

There are some good sections of this book, especially the introductory chapters on the basic nature of cancer. Unfortunately, there are too many defects. I will point out a few. In the discussion of cancer of the stomach, the striking decrease in the incidence of this disease during the last 50 years is not mentioned. The data on the incidence of various cell types of cancer of the lung are different from those being reported by most groups in recent years, and the combination of small cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and giant cell carcinoma into a group labeled "undifferentiated carcinoma" is unacceptable to most lung cancer experts.

Asbestos is listed as responsible for lung cancer, without