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Cancer of the Breast – a new edition of a classic reference text

DOI: 10.1186/bcr764

Keywords: breast cancer

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The review of epidemiology was excellent, and presumably the next edition will include the emerging evidence from the Million Woman Study on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer risk. As a working clinician, I particularly enjoyed the excellent coverage of nutrition and breast disease (chapter 9), prevention (chapter 12), and exercise and weight control in prevention and rehabilitation (chapter 13). These provided a comprehensive review of evidence in the subject areas I am so often challenged on by my patients and friends, but of which I am relatively ignorant. 'What is your opinion, Doctor, of a healthy life-style to reduce the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence?' There was also a very comprehensive and up to date review of both hormone therapy and chemotherapy by authors of international repute, which I could not fault.The coverage of molecular and biological aspects of breast cancer was on the whole very good, thorough, up to date and readable, and again provides an excellent reference text. I enjoyed the chapter on the genetic basis for the emergence and progression of breast cancer (10), and the molecular biology of breast cancer (11), although the latter needs some good illustrations to improve its comprehensibility. The chapter on cellular kinetics (19) was interesting but probably too long and somewhat outdated. The chapter on growth rates (21) definitely had too few pictures, and as this is an important and interesting area of research, and pertinent to the general breast cancer researcher, it needs to be re-interpreted in a more readable style. Too many mathematical equations in a text usually lead to inattention in the reader, and this important information needs to be better presented.Where did the book disappoint? The chapter that covered prognosis (22) really needs to be separated and expanded to include information on the promise of the emerging technologies of molecular profiling, proteomics, and bio-informatics. Pregna

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