Authors: Saarenmaa I, Salminen T, Geiger U, Heikkinen P, Hyvärinen S, Isola J, Kataja V, Kokko ML, Kokko R, Kumpulainen E, Kärkkäinen A, Pakkanen J, Peltonen P, Piironen A, Salo A, Talviala ML, Hakama M
Title: Validity of radiological examinations of patients with breast cancer in different age groups in a population based study.
Journal: Breast 10(1):78-81
Date: 2001 Feb
Abstract: By studying which radiological examinations had been performed before breast cancer operations the aim was to assess, how much benefit ultrasonography (US) and fine or core needle biopsy (FNAB, CNB) gave in addition to mammography, and whether the sensitivity of these examinations varied with the age of the patient. There were 659 consecutive histologically and six cytologically verified breast cancer cases included in the study. Information on mammography, US and FNAB findings were retrieved from the original patient files and classified as malignant or benign. The sensitivity (Se) of these was compared in three age groups (26-49, 50-59 and 60-92). Seventeen (3%) tumours had operations without any radiological examination and 73 (11%) without cytological or histological verification. The sensitivity of mammography (Se=0.92) was statistically significantly higher than the sensitivity of FNAB (Se=0.85, P=0.002) or US (Se=0.86, P=0.003). The sensitivity of mammography increased with age; US sensitivity was slightly higher amongst younger than older patients; the sensitivity of FNAB did not depend on the age of the patient. The sensitivity using a cutoff level of class 5 for mammography was higher (50% typical malignant findings) than for US (45%) or FNAB (30%). Among cases with benign mammographic finding (classes 1-2), the US finding was malignant (classes 3-5) in 4% and FNAB was malignant in 7%. Mammography is a reliable method of breast examination especially for women over 50 years of age. Ultrasonography is beneficial, particularly in younger women, but it is mainly performed as a complementary examination to a mammography and therefore could not be evaluated as an independent examination. FNAB and CNB results were not related to the age of the patient.