Triple approach in the diagnosis of dominant breast masses: Combined physical examination, mammography, and fine‐needle aspiration

Zvi Kaufman, Baruch Shpitz, Myra Shapiro, Ronny Rona, Sylvia Lew, Alex Dinbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In an attempt to reduce the number of breast biopsies done for benign breast disease in patients with breast lumps, we evaluated prospectively the sensitivity and specificity of the combination of three diagnostic modalities: clinical examination, mammography, and fine‐needle aspiration cytologic examination (FNA). A total of 234 patients with a breast mass had a physical examination, a mammogram, and FNA, and were listed as malignant/suspicious or benign. All patients underwent a subsequent biopsy: 110 were found to have breast cancer, and 124 had a benign lesion. The sensitivity and specificity of the individual tests were as follows: 89% and 73%, respectively, for mammographic examination; 93% and 97% for FNA cytologic examination; and 89% and 60% for physical examination. For the combined triad of tests, the sensitivity was 100% and specificity 57%. All patients who had breast cancer had positive findings for malignancy in one or more of the diagnostic tests, i. e., 100% sensitively. All patients who had negative findings for malignancy in all three diagnostic tests had benign lesions, i. e., a negative predictive value of 100%. We conclude that breast masses can be diagnosed with a high degree of accuracy by combined physical, mammographic, and fine‐needle aspiration cytologic examination. Patients in whom physical examination, mammography, and FNA were negative for malignancy can be safely observed, obviating the need for an open biopsy. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1994

Keywords

  • breast mass
  • clinical examination
  • combined tests
  • fine‐needle aspiration
  • mammography

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