Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What You See is What You Get

In “Tumors of the Eye and Ocular Adnexa,” ocular oncologist Dr. Devron Char, presents 27 well-organized chapters – moving from the external to internal eye - with references attached to each section.

Numerous color and black-and-white photos and surgical drawings illustrate the test.

This work fulfills three criteria for successful resources: To be affordable (the retail cost is $70), accessible (thanks to his layperson language), and accurate.

What detracts from this work is the way medicine continues to organize cancer by location rather than pathology. This is no reflection on Dr. Char; his book (published in 2001 before the COMS results and the revolution in molecular biology) is one of 22 in the American Cancer Society’s Atlas of Clinical Oncology series that also features volumes on site specific themes such as prostate, lung, brain, bone, breast, among other cancers.

As a result, skin cancers of the eye (cancers caused by UV radiation) such as lid and conjuctival tumors, are described in this book instead of ACS’s “Skin Cancer” volume.

Retinoblastomas and neuroblastomas, childhood eye cancers, have cellular pathologies so radically distinct from any other eye neoplasm, that location alone doesn’t justify their inclusion here. And ocular melanoma, (also called choroidal melanoma, eye cancer, eye melanoma, uveal melanoma, intraocular melanoma or eye cancer), which continues to defy a standard diagnosis, treatment or cure (for 1 of every 2 patients), also belongs in a category all to itself.

Someday, cancer professionals will think of cancer by its molecular biology rather than its physical location. But for now, Dr. Char’s birds-eye view of the eye cancer landscape is broadly revealing.

It’s your sight.

It’s your life.

Together, we can see a cure.™

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