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Breast Cancer Needle Biopsy Results Similar to Open Biopsy

Less complications and high accuracy make guided core needle biopsy attractive option

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Using stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy to conduct breast biopsies gives results almost as accurate as open surgical biopsy, and carries a lower risk of complications, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Wendy Bruening, Ph.D., and colleagues at the ECRI Institute Evidence-Based Practice Center in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., conducted a review of 83 studies of different biopsy methods, including stereotactic automated gun and ultrasound-guided with or without vacuum assistance, as well as freehand automated gun biopsy.

The accuracy of stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided biopsies was similar to that of open surgery biopsy, but the strength of evidence to support this was low, the researchers found, while there was moderate evidence to show that an initial diagnosis of breast cancer by core-needle biopsy was more likely to lead to a single surgical procedure than open surgical biopsy.

"The crux of the decision becomes the question 'is core needle biopsy accurate enough?' The answer to this question may vary depending in the individual woman's estimated pre-biopsy chance of having cancer," the authors write. "For some women, core needle biopsy will never be accurate enough to satisfy their desire to know with (perceived) absolute certainty whether they do or do not have cancer. For others, the greater safety and less invasive nature of core needle biopsy is [sic] worth a very small sacrifice in accuracy."

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