May 1997

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University School of Medicine Chicago, Ill

Arch Surg. 1997;132(5):517. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430290063010

The demonstration of the effectiveness of a new technology generates great enthusiasm for its use and, with experience and time, a rational role for the technology is usually defined. Since the initial description of SCNB by Parker et al1 in 1990, the procedure has been widely adopted, and Devia and colleagues propose an algorithm for the evaluation of mammographic abnormalities that includes SCNB as an initial step for any lesion considered too suspicious for short interval follow-up. However, before we adopt SCNB as the "standard of care" in all cases, there are many questions that remain to be answered.

A breast biopsy procedure must reliably determine if a lesion is benign or malignant and accurately characterize malignant lesions to allow definitive therapy. Approximately 50% of the mammographic abnormalities that require biopsy are calcifications, which may be more difficult to target and require a larger number of specimens from core

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