N. Roche, S. A. Ray, G. Layer
Jul 1, 1997
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Benign breast disease accounts for the majority of referrals to a specialist breast clinic. Delayed investigation prolongs patient anxiety and increases outpatient waiting lists. Few centres offer the triple test of clinical examination, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and breast imaging by mammography and/or ultrasonography at initial presentation. We have analysed the practicality of such a service during the 12 months following its introduction in our district general hospital. We studied the cohort of 178 patients who presented with a discrete breast lump which was subsequently shown to be benign. A triple test was performed in 72% of all patients. In 100 patients (56%) this was performed at initial assessment. Of these, 87 had clinically benign disease confirmed by FNAC and breast imaging and they were informed of the results within 3 h. A triple assessment during the initial consultation allows the majority of patients with discrete benign breast disease to be given immediate reassurance.