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Clin Radiol. 2006 May;61(5):431-5.

Is general practitioner access to breast imaging safe?

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1
The Breast Unit, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of this study was to assess the consultant radiologist run open-access breast radiology service (OAR) to investigate whether the system was safe or whether cancers were being missed.

METHODS:

A retrospective review of the national cancer registry database to identify patients presenting with symptomatic breast cancer in the catchment area of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital (RGH) from April 2000 to April 2002 was performed. Pathology, radiology and outpatient records were reviewed to identify patients previously assessed at the RGH.

RESULTS:

Fifty-four patients with breast cancer were diagnosed via the OAR and 159 by the breast clinic (BC). Twelve patients with breast cancer were diagnosed after their initial presentation. Eight patients had been previously seen for benign breast lesions. Four patients had missed breast cancers (two were initially seen via the BC and two via the OAR). A significant difference in the number of cancers missed by the two referral routes was not observed (p = 0.221).

CONCLUSION:

OAR is as accurate a means of diagnosing breast cancer as traditional rapid access BCs. Women presenting with discrete lumps with no radiological abnormality should still undergo assessment with clinical fine core-biopsy.

PMID:
16679117
DOI:
10.1016/j.crad.2005.07.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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