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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 June;58(3):375-84


language: Italian

Cancer risk in breast lesions: diagnostic and therapeutic strategy

Bove F., Bilancio G., De Falco M., Parmeggiani D., Sperlongano P., Barbarisi A., Parmeggiani U.


Background. The classification, diagnostic recognition and surgical treatment of breast lesions at risk of neoplastic transformation represent some of the most important objectives in breast research. Attention has been focused on lesions at risk of neoplastic transformation in breast pathology, such as: atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH), multiple intraductal papilloma and sclerosing adenosis.
Methods. Our experience regards activity carried out from 1996 to 2001; the diagnostic approach included routine performance of echotomographic examination, mammography screening indicated in women >40 and, in selected cases, in women <40; FNAB was carried out in all lesions containing suspicious cells. In the case of non-palpable lesions we carried out a CT-guided FNAB using the stereotaxic technique. In cases of secreting breast, galactography proved useful. As regard clinically suspect nipple secretions, cytology was useful in the diagnosis of intraductal papillomatous lesions. Surgery was indicated for: mammographically negative nodular lesions with cytological finding of suspect lesions. Continuous, spontaneous mono-orificial, serous, sero-hematic or hematic secretion of the nipple also in the presence of negative and/or inconclusive galactographic and cytological findings. From a nosological viewpoint we have distinguished 3 groups: A) 49 women (average age 47.3 years) with suspect lesions subjected to biopsy. On the basis of the cytological response we carried out: 37 quadrantectomies with extemporary examination, 4 excisional biopsies, 5 radical ductectomies and 3 microductectomies. B) 26 patients (36.7 years) subjected to mammary biopsy for non-suspect lesions; in 24 cases excisional biopsy of the lesion and in 2 cases radical ductectomy. C) Control group consisting of 141 women (average age 44.5 years) suffering from benign pathology not suspected of lesions at risk and not subjected to surgery.
Results. The final histological examination evidenced: Group A: 7 cases of T1aN0M0 carcinoma (14.3%); 20 lesions at risk (40.8%); 22 lesions not at risk; Group B: 25 (96.1%) lesions not considered at risk, in 1 case (3.9%) area of sclerosing adenosis with ductal proliferation and slight atypias; Group C: in 4 cases (3.1%) the onset at follow-up of lesions at risk made it necessary to remove the lesion. Histology did not confirm the presence of cancer in any case.
Conclusions. The diagnostic and therapeutic protocol proposed enables us to identify and radically treat high risk patients (Group A) and follow them up closely. On the contrary, Group B evidenced a very low incidence of lesions at risk which escaped preoperative diagnosis and in confirmation of this in Group C, during follow-up, the onset of only 4 lesions at risk was identified in which histological examination however excluded the presence of cancer.

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