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March 16, 1994


JAMA. 1994;271(11):881. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510350093051

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Cancer is a book with an ambitious task, to "present a balanced, well-informed account of the many facets of cancer" to the interested nonprofessional public. Part 1 reviews the biology of cancer with emphasis on molecular genetics, part 2 discusses the cancer patient with a general introduction to the technology and jargon of clinical medicine, and part 3 reviews the 10 most common cancers.

Where this book on cancer distinguishes itself from many others aimed at the public is in its discussion of molecular biology and the genetics of cancer. Through a historical perspective tracing various milestones of medical discovery, the reader is brought to the frontiers of knowledge on such topics as oncogenes, protooncogenes, retrovirus biology, cell transformation, DNA translocation, point mutation, tumor suppressor genes, and the molecular biology of metastasis. These are rather heady topics and not for the faint of heart, but concepts are gradually and lucidly

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