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June 1983

Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology

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edited by Vincent T. De Vita, Jr, Samuel Hellman, and Stephen A. Rosenberg, 1,925 pp, $95, Philadelphia, JB Lippincott Co, 1982.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(6):776. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390060092027

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Anyone who cares for or aspires to care for cancer patients should buy and read this book. It will become the standard reference for what now is popularized as "multimodal" cancer therapy (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery). The arguments for reading this huge tome are straightforward: (1) cancer continues to be an overwhelming health problem; (2) more kinds of cancers are curable now than when most clinicians were trained; and (3) effective cancer therapy is becoming more complicated. For those who have difficulty justifying the considerable purchase price, remember that the cost per pound for Cancer is less than that for veal (pointed out first to me by one of the editors!).

DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg have organized their exposition superbly. Initial summary chapters outline the magnitude of the clinical cancer problem, recent changes in the incidence of particular kinds of cancer, and the principles that underlie each of the three

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