• Fine-needle aspiration cytology is a safe, inexpensive, rapid method of establishing the diagnosis of breast cancer in patients with solid, palpable masses. The pathologist must be conservative in his interpretation of malignancy so that positive study results occur only in patients with cancer. We compared the cytologic diagnosis of 140 breast masses with the histologic diagnosis. Seventy of 98 breast cancers were diagnosed by this technique. Because 28 cancers could not be diagnosed with certainty, open biopsy should be performed on all breast masses with nonmalignant cytologic findings.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:37-39)