Cytological Study of Palpable Breast Lumps with their Histological Correlation


  • Government Medical College, Department of Pathology, Patiala, India
  • Government Medical College Patiala, Department of Pathology, Patiala, India
  • Government Medical College, Department of Pathology, India


Background:FNAC is an inexpensive and highly accurate means of diagnosing both benign and malignant breast lesions. The procedure provides a rapid and non-morbid diagnosis before the operation which enables the patient and the surgeon to discuss and plan therapeutic alternatives in a rational atmosphere.

Objectives: To evaluate role of fine needle aspiration cytology in the diagnosis of breast lesions and to compare the cytological findings with the histopathology wherever possible. In addition the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of FNAC in breast lesions are carried out.

Material and Methods: The present study was carried out on 200 patients who presented with palpable lump in the breast in the Department of Pathology, Government Medical College, Patiala over a period of 2 years. Cytological Diagnosis was correlated with histological findings wherever possible.

Results: Cytologically, the lesions were categorized into 4 major categories, benign 143 (71.5%), malignant 37 (18.5%), suspicious or atypical 10 (5%) and unsatisfactory 10 (5%). Out of these 200 cases, 85 cases (42.5%) were available for histopathological examination. The most common benign lesion in this study was fibroadenoma 23/52 (44.2%) and the most common malignant lesion was infiltrating ductal carcinoma (28/33) Diagnostic accuracy of FNAC for benign lesion was 94.2% while for malignant lesion, it was 96.7%. The sensitivity, specificity and overall diagnostic accuracy of FNAC came out to be 93.7%, 98.1% and 96.4% respectively.

Conclusion: FNAC is a simple and reliable method for diagnosis of both benign and malignant lesions quite accurately thus reducing unnecessary surgeries. The present study proved that the procedure has high sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy. Though it cannot categorize the lesion in some cases but it can rule out malignancy in most of the cases. Considering its low cost and quick results, it can be a potential tool for screening of breast cancers.


Breast Lump, FNAC, Mastectomy, Malignancy.

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