Assessment of fine needle aspiration cytology and histopathology for diagnosing male breast masses

Acta Cytol. Sep-Oct 1995;39(5):877-81.


Objective: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) from breast lesions in males and to determine the frequency of benign versus malignant histopathologic diagnoses in surgical biopsies from male breast lesions.

Study design: FNAC specimens from breast lesions taken from 241 males over 8.5 years were divided into four subgroups according to the original cytologic diagnoses. Diagnostic accuracy was verified with the Norwegian Cancer Registry. Ten years' worth of material from 809 surgical biopsies from male breast lesions was subgrouped according to the original histopathologic diagnoses.

Results: Of the 809 surgical biopsies, 779 (96.3%) were benign lesions. Of the 241 fine needle aspirates, 27 (11.2%) were unsatisfactory for cytologic diagnosis. Of the remaining 214 cases, 200 benign cytologic diagnoses were confirmed at follow-up. Thus, there were no false negative cytologic diagnoses; eight malignant diagnoses were confirmed by later histopathologic examination of the surgical biopsy.

Conclusion: To reduce the high rate of surgical biopsies of benign male breast masses, we conclude that FNAC should be performed as a standard procedure in the clinical evaluation of male breast lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy, Needle*
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology*
  • Child
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged