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October 1979

Carcinoma of the Colon and Rectum

Arch Surg. 1979;114(10):1199. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370340105020

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This book is rigorously edited by a surgical oncologist who incisively comments on and places in perspective the contributions of his 31 invited authors. While the majority are distinguished surgeons, Dr Enker has also succeeded in attracting concise chapters by such well-known students of gastrointestinal oncology as J. B. Kirsner, C. G. Moertel, M. Lipkin, and E. L. Wynder.

The book first attempts to provide current statements on diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, and it succeeds in this aim far better than standard surgical texts. Unfortunately, no new breakthrough is described. Instead, like football coaches, each author painstakingly emphasizes "fundamentals," starting with detailed preparations for the barium enema examination, proceeding through descriptions of radical surgery, and ending with a very informative discussion by C. E. Platz of why the pathologist and the clinician must work together in treating colorectal neoplasms. These exhortations are all very necessary, but they remind

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