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Gut. 2007 September; 56(9): 1332.
PMCID: PMC1954982

Challenges in Colorectal Cancer

Reviewed by Madhava Pai and Ruben Canelo

Edited by John H Scholefield, Herand Abcarian, Axel Grothey, Tim Maughan. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006, £69.50, pp 296. ISBN 9781405127066.

Colorectal adenocarcinoma (colorectal cancer; CRC) is the third most common type of cancer and the fourth most frequent cause of death due to cancer worldwide. Almost 1 million new cases of CRC occur annually, amounting to 492 000 related deaths. In developed countries, it is the second most common type of tumour, with a lifetime risk of 5%, but its incidence and mortality is now decreasing, owing to the early diagnosis and multi‐modality treatment options that have recently become available. The complexity of integrated CRC multidisciplinary advances makes the second edition of this book a concise and compact addition to those practising in the management of this challenging malignancy.

The layout of this book is extremely well organised and most of the chapters cover state of the art developments in CRC management. It covers the entire breadth of disease process, from the influence of lifestyle and the role of screening to the management of metastases and palliative care. The book gives multidisciplinary approach to CRC reflecting many challenges facing surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiologists, oncologists and pathologists.

The editors have put together 16 chapters with 33 illustrations from an impressive array of international authors, with excellent cohesion throughout the book. All chapters combine good clinical approach with an updated scientific background of management. Some chapters, such as those on CRC screening, the role of minimally invasive surgery and the multidisciplinary team in the management of CRC, and surgery for metastatic disease are concise yet comprehensive and very well written.

There are balanced evidence‐based discussions, along with useful algorithms for rectal cancer staging, identification of hereditary non‐polyposis CRC and staging of patients with liver metastases, to name but a few. The book also has succinct and informative tables including adjuvant radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer treatment, efficacy results of recent adjuvant trials and randomised clinical trials in follow‐up after CRC resection, along with an interesting illustration on the history of adjuvant therapy of colonic cancer.

We would strongly recommend this book to clinicians, nurses and healthcare professionals of various specialties involved in the care of CRC patients. This is a user‐friendly guide and a good addition to any departmental collection involved in the management of this disease.

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