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March 1997

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts General Hospital Boston

Arch Surg. 1997;132(3):260. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430270046008

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Several series have clearly demonstrated the accuracy of core needle biopsies in the evaluation of nonpalpable breast lesions. In addition to lower cost, there are several potential advantages of using image-guided needle biopsies. First, it is generally a less threatening procedure for patients; second, when a breast cancer is diagnosed, there is an opportunity to develop a surgical plan that optimizes the chances for removing the entire lesion with adequate margins; and third, if sentinel lymph node mapping is ever used routinely in patients with early breast cancers, mapping may be more accurate when the tumor and surrounding lymphatics are left intact.

For physicians who recommend image-guided needle biopsies, it is important to be aware of the radiologist's skills and standards for performing these procedures, since the accuracy of the technique is dependent on these factors. The authors clearly state that if the pathologic findings do not correlate with the

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