Background: Breast carcinoma has seen an increasing rise in incidence in India overtaking carcinoma cervix in the past decade. Major factors contributing to such steep rise are – late marriages followed by late motherhood and modernization which has yielded to a disease in the duration of breast feeding. FNAC is a simple, inexpensive, minimally invasive, patient friendly, easily accessible procedure with virtually no complications. Patient compliance is also better as it does not require any indoor admission and patient can go home immediately after the procedure. Aim of the study: To find out if FNAC could be used as a diagnostic tool in palpable breast lesions for patients to ensure better and early treatment. Materials and methods: The present study was conducted in the Department of General Pathology of Padmasree Dr. D Y Patil Hospital and Research Centre, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. This study was a retrospective and prospective kind of study. Female patients who were having palpable breast lump attending Padmasree Dr. D Y Patil Hospital and Research Centre, Nerul, Navi Mumbai were the subject of study. The period of study was between June 2008 to January 2013. Sample size was 105 patients (Cytology and Histopathology correlated samples). In cases of retrospective study, old records of histopathology section were studied from all breast lesions including biopsy and FNAC slides were examined. Results: Only those breast lesions which were neoplastic, formed the basis of this study. The following observations were made. The age of patients ranged from 14-85 years. The maximum number of lesions were seen in the age group of 21-30 years (27.61%) followed by 31-40 years (23.81%) followed by 41-50 years (20.95%) The least number of cases were seen in patients of age group of > 60 years (7.62%). Clinically, 74 cases were considered benign and 31 were considered malignant. Of the 74 cases which were clinically benign, 70 were benign on histopathology and 3 cases were histopathologically malignant. The case which was misinterpreted turned out to be IDC- NOS. Of the clinically diagnosed malignant cases, 6 were malignant on histopathology. All the misinterpreted cases were IDC- NOS. Cytology 1 case was inadequate for opinion, 73 were benign and 31 were malignant. Conclusion: Within the limitations of the present study, it can be concluded that benign neoplasms of the breast are more common than malignant ones. FNAC is a very effective diagnostic aid and is easy and safe to perform. In cases where FNAC is inconclusive or when the clinician has a suspicion of biopsy it is always advisable to go for a biopsy or mastectomy. A cytopathologist should always take utmost care while reporting and whenever in doubt a biopsy should be suggested to avoid false diagnosis.
Key words: Breast carcinoma, benign, malignant, FNAC.