Series Preface

Seen on a graph, the survival rate for many cancers resembles a precipice. Discovered at an early stage, most cancers are quickly treatable, and the prognosis is excellent. In late stages, however, the typical treatment protocol becomes longer, more intense, and more harrowing for the patient, and the survival rate declines steeply. No wonder, then, that one of the most important means in fighting cancer is to prevent or screen for earlier stage tumors.

Within each oncologic specialty, there is a strong push to identify new, more useful tools for early diagnosis and treatment, with an emphasis on methods amenable to an office-based or clinical setting. These efforts have brought impressive results. Advances in imaging technology, as well as the development of sophisticated molecular and biochemical tools, have led to effective, minimally invasive approaches to cancer in its early stages.

This series, Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer, gathers state-of-the-art research and recommendations into compact, easy-to-use volumes. For each particular type of cancer, the books cover the full range of diagnostic and treatment procedures, including pathologic, radiologic, chemotherapeutic, and surgical methods, focusing on questions like these:

■ What do practitioners need to know about the epidemiology of the disease and its risk factors?

■ How do patients and their families wade through and interpret the many tests they face?

■ What is the safest, quickest, least invasive way to reach an accurate diagnosis?

■ How can the stage of the disease be determined?

■ What are the best initial treatments for early-stage disease, and how should the practitioner and the patient choose among them?

■ What lifestyle factors might affect the outcome of treatment?

Each volume in the series is edited by an authority within the subfield, and the contributors have been chosen for their practical skills as well as their research credentials. Key Points at the beginning of each chapter help the reader grasp the main ideas at once. Frequent illustrations make the techniques vivid and easy to visualize. Boxes and tables summarize recommended strategies, protocols, indications and contraindications, important statistics, and other essential information. Overall, the attempt is to make expert advice as accessible as possible to a wide variety of health care professionals.

For the first time since the inception of the National Cancer Institute's annual status reports, the 2008 "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer," published in the December 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, noted a statistically significant decline in "both incidence and death rates from all cancers combined." This mark of progress encourages all of us to press forward with our efforts. I hope that the volumes in Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer will make health care professionals and patients more familiar with the latest developments in the field, as well as more confident in applying them, so that early detection and swift, effective treatment become a reality for all our patients.

Stephen C. Yang, MD The Arthur B. and Patricia B. Modell Professor of Thoracic Surgery Chief of Thoracic Surgery The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Baltimore, Maryland

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10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

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