Cytomorphology of common malignant tumors of the breast

Lydia P Howell, Lynne Lin-Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In summary, a definitive cytologic diagnosis of breast cancer is usually possible when using the six major criteria of malignancy (cellularity, dyshesion, monomorphism, anisonucleosis, irregular nuclear membranes, prominent nucleoli) as part of the triple test. Carcinomas of special type have unique clinical and cytologic features that pathologists need to consider because these may confuse interpretation. Complete subtyping of carcinomas may not always be possible by FNA. Diagnostic accuracy for breast carcinoma is excellent. False-negative diagnoses are infrequent and chiefly caused by sampling issues. False-positive diagnoses are extremely rare. Uniform report terminology should be used to ensure that diagnostic information is conveyed appropriately and consistently to guide the next diagnostic or treatment step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-760
Number of pages28
JournalClinics in Laboratory Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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