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We are confronted in the medical and popular press by a variety of management plans to establish a diagnosis and then to initiate therapy for patients with breast masses suggestive of malignancy. Some of these plans are rational and appropriate to certain types of surgical practices. Some suggestions are meant simply to be useful reports of small aspects of the overall care of patients who may have a frightening and dangerous disease. Each may tend to confuse the busy surgical practitioner.
It is reassuring to remember that surgery already has a method of one-stage tissue diagnosis-operative therapy that has been perfected by surgeons and pathologists over the course of many years. Fresh-frozen or rapid hisopathologic diagnosis from needle or excisional biopsy material submitted from the operating room has clearly been successful, feasible, and desirable, if not nearly ideal.
Surgeons who are at ease in the use of this method also