Head and Neck Cancer: State of the Art Diagnosis, Staging, and Surveillance

Glastonbury CM, Harnsberger HR, Michel MA, Branstetter BF, Hudgins PA, Shatzkes D, eds. Head and Neck Cancer: State of the Art Diagnosis, Staging, and Surveillance. Specialty Imaging. Wolters Kluwer | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012; 500 pgs.; 1200 illustrations; $299.

Head and Neck Cancer: State of the Art Diagnosis, Staging, and Surveillance, edited by Christine Glastonbury, is a new and important addition to the Special Imaging series by Amirsys. Following the same format with which virtually every radiologist is now familiar, the book covers twelve sections: Imaging Techniques, Introduction to Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Primary Sites, Post Treatment Neck, Sinonasal Tumors, Orbital Tumors, Salivary Gland Tumors, Thyroid and Parathyroid Tumors, Lymphomas, Non-Squamous Cell Node Malignances, Sarcomas and Cutaneous Malignancies. Within these sections are a variable number of chapters each of which covers certain types of cancers that are frequently encountered by any practice involved with a large head and neck practice. As with all the books in this series, the illustrations as superb and the MR/CT imaging is of high quality. The text is not, nor do I believe it was ever, intended to be encyclopedic in nature. As just one example in the orbit section, only optic pathway gliomas, retinoblastomas, ocular lacrimal gland carcinomas are covered individually. Other well recognized tumors such as orbital Schwannomas, hemangiopericytomas, and meningiomas are not included as separate chapters, but some mention of these can be found elsewhere—e.g., under the Sarcoma Section, where we see mention and illustration of a case of hemangiopericytoma.

This observation does not, however, detract in any sense from the informative and educational value of the entire book, because the major concepts of anatomy and imaging are present. When it comes to the base of the skull and temporal bone tumors, while some may consider those areas part of head and neck radiology, the authors undoubtedly felt these should be considered more appropriately part of intracranial/brain imaging books.

This book is particularly noteworthy, at least to this reviewer, because it devotes significant space to imaging techniques (47 pages), the post-treatment neck (39 pages), and to parathyroid anatomy and tumors. These are mentioned specifically because there is information in each of these areas which we may not often consider, such as DWI/perfusion in head and neck cancer or ultrasound of the head and neck (infrequently done by neuroradiologists), or how to battle your way through a postoperative/post-treatment neck (including reconstruction flaps), anatomic/pathologic concepts in parathyroid tumors (often elusive), and a primer on PET imaging in the head and neck. As might be expected, the other chapters are well written (in the familiar/easy-to-read bullet point format, which I am sure traditionalists dislike but which appeals to most others, this reviewer included).

The inclusion of Tables showing the staging of nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, oral cavity, hypopharynygeal, and laryngeal carcinoma, nose/sinus tumors, salivary gland tumors, and thyroid tumors should be at the ready at every reading station ( a few of the anatomic drawings would also be of help to trainees). Of course, the anatomical illustrations are spectacular and themselves deserve intense study. Head and neck imaging interpretation is probably the most difficult area we deal with and often causes the most anxiety among radiologists. This book takes a big step in stress alleviation.

Dr. Glastonbury indicates in the Preface of this book that for her, initially, the need to write a book was not obvious.  We all should be glad that she took on this project and, with the help of her co-editors and contributors, did it so beautifully. Specialty Imaging: Head and Neck Cancer is a must-buy for all neuroradiologists, and for all radiologists who deal with a significant amount of head and neck cancer.


Head and Neck Cancer: State of the Art Diagnosis, Staging, and Surveillance

One thought on “Head and Neck Cancer: State of the Art Diagnosis, Staging, and Surveillance

  • February 4, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Thank you for the positive review!
    In trying to keep the book to a reasonable size we did not include benign tumors (such as schwannomas) and concentrated on just the malignant tumors for this cancer book – and how to diagnose, stage, follow-up and image them. As for the skull base and temporal bone – both benign and malignant tumors (& congenital lesions, inflammatory disease etc!!) are included in the forthcoming Specialty Imaging: Temporal Bone book – for release at ARRS!

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