Author(s): Lieske B, Ravichandran D, Wright D
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Abstract Core biopsy (CB) has now largely replaced fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in the preoperative assessment of breast cancer in the UK. We studied the contribution of FNAC and CB in the preoperative diagnosis of screen-detected breast carcinoma. Data were prospectively collected on 150 840 women who underwent breast screening over a 4-year period from 1999 to 2003. Data on women who had both FNAC and CB taken from the same lesion preoperatively and in whom surgical excision of the lesion subsequently confirmed malignancy was analysed. In 763 cancers, FNAC was inadequate (C1) in 8\% and benign (C2) in 10\%. Most of these cases presented with microcalcification (25\% were C1 or C2). Core biopsy was not representative (B1) or benign (B2) in 7\%. The absolute and complete sensitivities were 65 and 82\% for FNAC and 80 and 93\% for CB in the diagnosis of cancer. Core biopsy was abnormal (B3 or above) in 86\% of the cancers missed by FNAC and FNAC was abnormal (C3 or above) in 65\% of those missed by CB. Core biopsy is better than FNAC at preoperative diagnosis of screen-detected breast cancer as it missed fewer cancers. However, combining FNAC resulted in a better preoperative diagnosis rate.
This article was published in Br J Cancer
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology