Content » Vol 88, Issue 6

Book Review

Book Review

Skin Cancer: Recognition and Management. Second edition by Robert A. Schwartz. ISBN: 978-1-4051-5961-6. Hbk. 525 pp, 372 illustrations. Price: £79.95. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.

This book on skin cancer diagnosis and treatment has a broad clinical approach. The volume systematically covers all the skin tumours seen on an everyday basis in out-patient clinics. There are separate chapters on less common, seldom seen and difficult to diagnose tumours. It further covers general scientific research within the field, thereby expanding the understanding of classification and management of different types of skin tumours. Overall discussions and the author’s personal experiences and reflections on various treatment modalities are interesting and helpful. Treatment traditions and follow-up programmes are clearly somewhat different between specialties and countries. The author describes the pros and cons of various methods, but cautiously does not recommend or promote specific techniques for diagnosing or treating particular patients. Each chapter is well structured, contains the latest relevant information on diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, and is illustrated with good quality instructive clinical photographs. As always, certain key references are missing, but on the whole the reference lists are well balanced and bring us up to date on each topic. The chapter on dermoscopy is superb and the illustrations are excellent. I found the chapter on histology and the algorithms describing immunohistological diagnosis of various tumour groups clarifying and supportive for me as a dermatologist. Schematic drawings of rotation, transposition and advancement of flaps are pedagogically present.

It is obvious that a book addressing an extensive field such as skin cancer will not be able to cover all aspects. However, a special chapter on skin cancer prevention would have been welcomed. A very short summary of available treatments for specific tumours is presented in each chapter. The most regularly used treatment modalities, such as surgery, cryosurgery, curettage and electrodessication, photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy and systemic therapy are given a comprehensive description each in a separate chapter towards the end of the volume. To improve accessibility to more detailed information on management the reader should be referred from the treatment synopsis to facts and figures in the in-depth treatment chapters.

This book provides straightforward and up-to-date information for dermatologists and clinicians involved in the management of patients with skin cancer.

In summary, this comprehensive and well-written book is an outstanding review that can be highly recommended to those working in the field of skin cancer.

Inger Rosdahl

Division of Dermatology

Department of Clinical and

Experimental Medicine

Faculty of Health Sciences

Linköping University

SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

doi: 10.2340/00015555-559