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September 14, 1979

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer-Reply

Author Affiliations

The Hospital of the Good Samaritan Los Angeles

JAMA. 1979;242(11):1139. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300110012008

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In Reply.—  In contrast to Dr Meyers' experience, most of the cases that by subsequent tissue examination were found to be nonneoplastic were characterized by the presence of scant cellular material and often, by only fragments of fibrofatty tissue. One could subdivide specimens that are not diagnostic into those that are considered negative and others that are considered insufficient, but in the interpretation of aspiration smears of breast masses, neither classification should assure the surgeon that the lesion definitely is not a cancer.A number of surgeons performed the aspirations in our cases and used different sized needles and syringes. No aspirating devices were used, and while the results might be improved if a cytopathologist performs the aspirations, this is not practical for patients who are seen in the surgeon's office. Even with this simple, readily available, and rapid method, the results are good.Since the published study was concluded,