Gynecologic oncology, as a subspecialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology, evolved slowly since the concept was first introduced in the United States in 1973. Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand adopted the concept within the ensuing 15 years, and European countries followed later. Although gynecologic oncology was practiced by individuals in Western Europe for many years, official recognition of the subspecialty has been much more recent. Eastern Europe, India, and much of Asia have yet to officially recognize this discipline.
With subspecialization, research into gynecologic cancers flourished at both the clinical and molecular level, and accrual of knowledge expanded exponentially. The development of international collaborative groups like the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) resulted in the recruitment of large numbers of patients for clinical trials within a relatively short period of time. Similarly, the multinational Human Genome Project paved the way for a better understanding of the genetic basis of cancer and facilitated the development of targeted therapies.
The first four editions of our book were titled Practical Gynecologic Oncology, and now, in recognition of its sustained utility, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins has renamed the fifth edition Berek & Hacker's Gynecologic Oncology. The previous edition was translated into Chinese and Spanish, an acknowledgment of the book's international appeal.
This edition preserves the basic format and style of the previous editions, being divided into four sections: general principles, disease sites, medical and surgical topics, and quality of life. All chapters have been thoroughly revised and incorporate a critical review of the recent literature. As with previous editions, where level I evidence is not available, we have injected our personal biases, but have tried to justify our position with adequate reference to the available literature. In this edition, a chapter on cancer in pregnancy has been added.
This book would not have been possible without the contributions of our co-authors, who are all acknowledged experts in their field. Dr. Michael Friedlander, an internationally recognized authority on the management of gynecologic cancer, has been recruited as an author. For the past two decades, he has served as the consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, Australia, and his inclusion gives added strength to the chapters on cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. We are most grateful to Tim Hengst and George Barile for their outstanding illustrations and drawings, and to Deborah Berek for her valuable assistance with design and editing. We thank Estelle Hacker for her assistance with the manuscript. We gratefully acknowledge Kerry Garcia for her assistance at Stanford. We appreciate the important contribution of the Lippincott Williams & Wilkins staff, especially Sonya Seigafuse, Nicole Walz, Kerry Barrett, and of Daisy Sosa from Macmillan. Finally, we extend special thanks to Charley Mitchell who has been supportive of our book since its inception.
At Stanford, we acknowledge the generosity of our benefactors, especially Nicole Kidman and the Stanford Women's Cancer Program, as well as the support of our colleagues, Beverly Mitchell, the Director of the Stanford Cancer Center, and Dean Philip Pizzo of the Stanford University School of Medicine. In Sydney, we acknowledge the support of our Gynaecological Oncology (GO) Research Committee, especially Aleco Vrisakis, our Chairman, and Carmen Duncan, our Fund Raising Coordinator. At both institutions, the enduring support of our benefactors has been critical to our gynecologic oncology research and clinical programs.
Our book is written primarily for gynecologic oncologists and fellows undertaking training in gynecologic oncology and consultant gynecologists, as well as medical oncologists and radiation oncologists whose practices involve a significant component of gynecologic cancer care.
We offer this book to those who strive to improve the care of women with gynecologic malignancies.