SourceEuropean Journal of Cancer, 38, 4, (2002), pp. 550-5
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Cancer
SubjectTumor pathology; Tumor pathologie
The number of non-palpable breast lesions is growing. Needle-localised breast biopsy (NLBB) is the gold standard for evaluating these lesions. Cost-saving techniques and less invasive alternatives such as core-needle biopsy (LCNB) and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) have emerged. The aim of this study was to find out if the lesions of patients who were sent directly for surgery to undergo a NLBB differed from lesions of patients who were send for a non-operative procedure. Furthermore, if a benign result was obtained, we assessed the total and kind of subsequent diagnostic procedures that were undertaken. A retrospective study on 718 women with 749 non-palpable breast lesions was performed. In 58% of women with non-palpable breast lesion, a non-surgical procedure was chosen. Lesions sent directly for surgery were more frequently not visible on ultrasound (62%) and mainly consisted of microcalcifications only (56%). In 45%, this primary surgical approach could have been avoided. If the non-operative procedure showed a non-malignant result, 41% of these women received an additional surgical diagnostic procedure. These figures obtained from routine daily practice show the importance of protocols in order to standardise diagnostic procedures and prevent unnecessary surgery.
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- Faculty of Medical Sciences 
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