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Keywords:

  • accuracy;
  • core needle biopsy (CNB);
  • cost;
  • excisional biopsy;
  • fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB);
  • surgery;
  • triple test;
  • vacuum-assisted biopsy

Abstract: Minimally invasive breast biopsy techniques, such as core needle biopsy (CNB) and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB), offer several advantages over surgical biopsy. Patients in whom minimally invasive biopsy techniques are used may undergo biopsy more quickly, are more likely to have only one surgery for treatment of the breast tumor and axillary staging, and are less likely to need reoperation after breast-conserving surgery because of positive margins. Knowledge of a diagnosis of cancer before surgery allows patients to participate in treatment decisions, and compared with surgical biopsy, minimally invasive biopsy has lower costs, produces less scarring, has nearly equivalent diagnostic accuracy, and does not require general anesthesia or sedation. Minimally invasive biopsy can permit accurate diagnosis and prompt intervention in a cost-effective manner, particularly in countries with limited resources, where patients often present with advanced-stage breast cancer. Several events characterize the implementation of a successful program in minimally invasive breast biopsy: public education about the less invasive nature of these techniques, which may encourage women to seek care at earlier stages; a change in the philosophy of medical personnel that favors involving patients in treatment decisions and acceptance of less extensive but accurate methods of diagnosis; education of medical personnel in the selection of patients for minimally invasive biopsy, performance of the biopsy, and interpretation of histologic and/or cytologic samples; quality assessment and use of the triple test (i.e., correlation of clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings); and economical use of resources, which results from the lower costs of minimally invasive procedures and the avoidance of unnecessary surgery for benign conditions.