BACKGROUND: Diagnostic surgical breast biopsies have several disadvantages, therefore, they should be used with hesitation. We determined time trends in types of breast biopsies for the workup of abnormalities detected at screening mammography. We also examined diagnostic delays.
METHODS: In a Dutch breast cancer screening region 6230 women were referred for an abnormal screening mammogram between 1 January 1997 and 1 January 2011. During two year follow-up clinical data, breast imaging-, biopsy-, surgery- and pathology-reports were collected of these women. Furthermore, breast cancers diagnosed >3 months after referral (delays) were examined, this included review of mammograms and pathology specimens to determine the cause of the delays.
RESULTS: In 41.1% (1997-1998) and in 44.8% (2009-2010) of referred women imaging was sufficient for making the diagnosis (P
CONCLUSION: The use of diagnostic surgical breast biopsies has decreased substantially. They have mostly been replaced by percutaneous CBs and this replacement did not result in an increase of diagnostic delays.
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