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Arch Surg. 1985 May;120(5):565-9.

Needle localization of nonpalpable breast masses.


A series of 146 women underwent 150 preoperative localizations of mammographically suspicious but nonpalpable breast lesions. The lesions were localized using the hook-wire method of Frank in 133 of these patients. Carcinoma was discovered in 24 (16%) of the women; 18 (75%) of these women had invasive and six women (25%) had noninvasive carcinomas. Sixty-seven patients demonstrated calcification, and of these, 16 patients (24%) turned out to have malignancies. Eighty percent of the cancers were less than 1 cm in diameter, and 38% met the criteria of minimal carcinoma as described by Gallagher and Martin in 1969. Fourteen percent of the patients with carcinoma had lymph node metastases. We conclude that this is a safe, rapid, and accurate method for localizing small, potentially highly curable breast cancers with minimal sacrifice of breast tissue.

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