Fine needle aspiration cytology of breast lesions: a clinicocytologic review of 1211 cases.Ethiop Med J. 1998 Oct; 36(4):219-25.EM
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a widely accepted cytologic technique for the early diagnosis of palpable breast lesions. Early diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant breast lesions in turn are associated with increased chance of long term survival. Clinical data and results of fine needle aspiration done at the Department of Pathology in Tikur Anbessa Hospital between January 1991 to December 1994 were reviewed to study the cytologic features of breast lesions and to elucidate the clinical use of fine needle aspiration. A total of 9,946 fine needle aspirations were done in the department, out of which 1,211 (12.2%) were from breast lesions. Results from breast lesions were reported as: malignant, benign suspicious and unsatisfactory. Repeat aspiration was performed for all unsatisfactory cases. Fine needle aspiration of the 1,211 breast lesions in the four year period revealed 255 (21%) malignant, 901 (74%) benign, 15 (1.2%) suspicious and 40 (3.3%) unsatisfactory cases. The malignant lesions ranged from small, mobile, firm nodules measuring 4 cm to fixed ulcerated and fungating mass, measuring 20 cm or more. The benign lesions were small and mobile, measuring from 2 cm to 6 cm, mostly fibroadenoma (38%). Biopsy result was found for 20 patients. Out of these 14 were benign lesions and 6 were malignant lesions, confirmed by surgical biopsy. The mean age of patients with malignant lesions was 43 years (range: 24 to 80 years), while it was 27 years (range: 15 to 50 years) for those with benign lesion. There were 1132 (93.5%) females and 79 (6.5%) males. Fine needle aspiration diagnostic technique is recommended to be widely introduced into the health system of Ethiopia in order to ensure timely diagnosis of benign and malignant breast lesions. Furthermore a properly designed study will be beneficial to elucidate the cytologic and clinical characteristics of breast lesions in Ethiopian setting.