Advances in the diagnosis and excision of breast cancer

Am Surg. 2003 Jan;69(1):11-4.


Until recently little advance in the diagnosis and excision of breast cancer has been made since the inception of needle localization breast biopsy (NLBB). Stereotactic core needle breast biopsy (SCNBB) can avoid most NLBB especially for calcifications. However, when open biopsy is necessary NLBB has been the standard of care. As many as 50 per cent of nonpalpable lesions can be seen by ultrasound (US) to avoid the unpleasantness and complications associated with NLBB. Further SCNBB leaves a blood-filled cavity that can be easily seen by US. Intraoperative US can be used to direct the excision while improving margin negativity. MRI has improved sensitivity in detecting suspicious breast lesions and techniques such as hematoma-directed US-guided breast biopsy can facilitate excision of such masses. Clearly new technologies have improved the ability to diagnosis and excise breast cancer. The onus on the surgeon is to incorporate them into standard practice to improve outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle* / instrumentation
  • Biopsy, Needle* / methods
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary