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June 1, 1984

Carcinoma of the Breast: Diagnosis and Treatment

Author Affiliations

St John's Regional Oncology Center Joplin, Mo

JAMA. 1984;251(21):2871-2872. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340450079040

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This book is intended to "provide a complete overview of breast carcinoma for the senior medical student, intern and resident." The authors, all from New England, more than half from Harvard, present a book that is out of balance.

The first 100 pages deal carefully and well with breast cancer's epidemiology, anatomy, history and physical examination, pathology, and biochemical features. Radiological diagnosis and treatment occupy 125 pages, this abundance representing the interest of the first editor. The second editor deals with surgical aspects in one tenth of that space. In his brief chapter, however, there is an area of confusion. The discussion of results of surgical treatment compares "standard radical mastectomy" (Halsted) with "total mastectomy." The latter is not defined. The chapter on medical management of advanced breast cancer is a disappointment. It occupies eight pages. Reading the brief comparisons of chemotherapeutic regimens was for me an experience that resembled