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Advances in Anatomic Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000005
Book Review

Diagnostic Histopathology of Tumors

Renshaw, Andrew MD

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Author Information

Baptist Hospital, Miami, FL

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Author: Fletcher C.D.M
  • Publishers: Elsevier Saunders
  • Year/ISBN: 2013/978-1-4377-1534-7
  • Organization: By anatomic site/tumor type
  • Readability: Succinct and complete
  • Pictures: Excellent all color and extensive
  • Strengths: Completeness, good summaries of ancillary information, differential diagnosis
  • Price: $397
  • Pages: 2296


The fourth edition of Dr Fletcher’s textbook on tumors remains a well-organized and clear text with abundant color images that spans the entire range of human tumors.

As noted in the preface, there have been considerable advances in anatomic pathology in the 5 years since the third edition, with a variety of new molecular tests, more refined diagnostic criteria, and a surprising number of new entities. Keeping pace with the changing nature of the field of surgical pathology remains one of the preeminent challenges facing practicing pathologists.

This text remains a standard for summarizing the wide variety of human tumors. Although all of the chapters have been updated, they continue to have the same feel of previous editions, with succinct yet complete summaries of diagnostic entities, all the necessary ancillary studies that may be of value for making the diagnosis, and the most likely differential diagnoses that one may face. Nevertheless, the chapters on tumors of the small and large intestines, the heart, and the ear have been extensively rewritten, reflecting more extensive advances in these areas in recent years.

Despite the succinct approach taken to describing each entity, for many tumors, these chapters are more than sufficient to ensure that a pathologist is making the correct diagnosis. Additional textbooks may be most useful for providing a wider array of morphologic illustrations than could be included in this text.

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A reassuring aspect of this text is its author’s obvious appreciation of the importance of morphologic classification. Despite the increased use and importance of a wide variety of ancillary testing, tumor diagnosis continues to begin with routine hematoxylin and eosin examination, and the pathologist remains central in the cost effective use of health care resources to obtain the best diagnosis possible.

As with most other Elsevier publications, this text is also available online through their Although in my opinion the images in the printed text remain better than those available online, the ability to search the text online sometimes offers advantages over paging through the text and, of course, the online version is available in multiple locations for pathologists who must split their time between different sites. In either setting, whether using a hard or virtual copy, this text remains a standard for all practicing pathologists.

Andrew Renshaw, MD
Miami, FL

Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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