Abstract Since September, 1951, when the Committee for the Study of Delay in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer in Philadelphia County started functioning, I have, as its chairman, presumed to have a special interest in early diagnosis of this most frequent of cancers. At the same time, it has been brought to my attention that on occasion physicians have tended to jump the gun, so to speak, and resort to radical measures without adequate biopsy. In spite of our zeal in encouraging early diagnosis, surely unnecessary surgery of any kind is to be avoided. Most of us completely distrust the confident diagnostician who can accurately diagnose a breast mass without biopsy, depending upon history and physical examination alone, and we look somewhat askance at the surgeon who can always distinguish between the benign and the malignant by gross examination of the biopsy specimen. I would prefer the physician who is willing References 1. Reference 11, cited by Lewison.6 2. Reference 1, cited by Lewison.6 3. In discussion of Johnston.5 4. In discussion of Johnston.5 5. Clagett, O. T.; Plimpton, N. C., and Root, G. T.: Lesions of the Breast: the Relationship of Benign Lesions to Carcinoma , Surgery 15:413-419, 1944. 6. Fitts, W. T., Jr., and Donald, J. G.: Diagnosis of Lesions of the Breast , Surgery 25:424-430, 1949. 7. Frantz, V. K.; Pickren, J. W.; Melcher, G. W., and Auchincloss, H.: Incidence of Chronic Cystic Disease in So-Called "Normal Breasts," Cancer 4:762-783, 1951.Crossref 8. Geschickter, C. F.: Differential Diagnosis Between Malignant and Benign Breast Lesions , Postgrad. Med. 6:34-41, 1949. 9. Johnston, J. H., Jr.: Aspiration as Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedure in Cystic Disease of the Breast , Ann. Surg. 139:635-643, 1954.Crossref 10. Lewison, E. F., and Lyons, J. G., Jr.: Relationship Between Benign Breast Disease and Cancer , A. M. A. Arch. Surg. 66:94-114, 1953.Crossref 11. Ross, D. E.: Cancer of the Breast , Am. J. Surg. 84:313-316, 1952.Crossref 12. Saltzstein, H. C., and Pollack, R. S.: Benign Tumors of the Breast , J. A. M. A. 140:997-1001, 1949.Crossref 13. Saphir, O.: Early Diagnosis of Breast Lesions , J. A. M. A. 150:859-861, 1952.Crossref 14. Teahan, R. W.: The Management of Breast Tumors , Pennsylvania M. J. 50:1069-1072, 1947. 15. Warren, S.: The Relation of "Chronic Mastitis" to Carcinoma of the Breast , Surg., Gynec. & Obst. 71:257-273, 1940.
A.M.A. Archives Surgery – American Medical Association
Published: Aug 1, 1955