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  • how accurate is fine needle aspiration?

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    Old 09-24-2005, 10:55 PM   #1
    libbie6
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    how accurate is fine needle aspiration?

    I've posted here before about a lump I found in my left breast. Had a mammogram, ultrasound (2 of them), and nothing showed up on any of these tests- even though the lump is palpable by hand. I had a fine needle aspiration of it last week and was told that it is solid lump, no fluid, and nothing suspicious was found in the cells they drew. I was told by my general surgeon (who seems really good and very experienced) that he thinks there is only a 3% chance it could be cancerous, and really does not want me to have a biopsy done. He said to wait a few months and call back if there are any changes. I am having breast pain in the breast with the lump only, and he says this is probably a fibrocystic change. This is another reason why he thinks the lump is benign. I have read on the internet that FNA is not very accurate, so I don't know whether to really push for the biopsy or not. I am so tired of all these tests! I don't know whether to believe the surgeon, esp. since I have had all these tests done and nothing suspicious was found, or go ahead and demand a biospy, since I know that is the only way to 100% know it's not cancerous. Any ideas? I'm 27 by the way.

     
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    Old 09-25-2005, 12:50 PM   #2
    smithn
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    Re: how accurate is fine needle aspiration?

    If your surgeon performed a fine needle aspiration and no fluid was found but yet you say "the cells they drew were not suspicious" then he must have performed a tru-cut needle biopsy? The difference between the two is that with an aspiration, fluid either returns or not. With a true-cut Biopsy, actual tissue is taken for pathology. This is not a complete biopsy. Just because the tissue taken in that very small area did not prove to be a cancer, does not mean that this lump is benign right to the margins. I just had an excision of a breast mass last week. This palpable mass did not show up on mammogram or ultrasound. This is not unusual and all the more reason it needed to be excised. It was benign (thank God). My mom was in the same situation five times over. The first four excisions showed benign, fibrocystic changes. The fifth.... a cancer. In my opinion, your mass needs to be removed no doubt about it. If this surgeon's wife had a breast mass, you can bet she would be in the OR pronto. I say all the more reason since it doesn't show up on film because this mass does not even show to give the radiologist any indication of its characteristics. If your surgeon feels that this lump has only a 3% chance of being benign, then it most likely is. However, SOMEONE has to fall into that 3% category. What will he say to you if it ends up being a cancer.... "I'm sorry?" Of the surgeons I know and work with, none would let you go without a biopsy. Absolutely none of them. It needs to come out - no question about it.

     
    Old 09-25-2005, 05:36 PM   #3
    libbie6
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    Re: how accurate is fine needle aspiration?

    thanks for replying. I didn't hear the surgeon use the term true cut biopsy, but when he tried to draw fluid there wasn't any, so he took cells from 3 different places in the lump. I remember it was 3 because I felt the needle go in 3 times, and it hurt!

    I understand what you're saying about getting the biopsy done. My understanding was the surgeon wanted to wait a couple months to see if the evening primose oil he told me to take would help for the pain- I have never had ANY type of breat pain before, and ever since i found the lump it is hurting off and on, and only in that breast. He kept saying he didn't want to give me a scar, I guess because he is so confident that it is benign.

    I have another question- so a fibrocystic change CAN be a solid lump and not literally a cyst? I thought any fibrocystic change had to be a cyst. When I first felt the lump it seemed fairly deep, but now I can feel it more easily, like it's almost risen to the top of the breast. It is no larger in size though....

     
    Old 09-26-2005, 10:08 PM   #4
    smithn
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    Re: how accurate is fine needle aspiration?

    Yes, fibrotic tissue can be cystic in nature - or solid. I don't believe in the ability of Primrose oil. I'm not saying I think it's wrong of people to believe in its healing abilities; it's only my opinion, but if this happens to be a breast cancer you are dealing with here (hopefully not!), then a lapse in time isn't helping you at all. The scarring isn't bad at all. It's only a simple, small line which is about two inches long. Think of it as a scar that can save your life.

     
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