Impact Of The Introduction Of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology Services On The Cost Of Care Of Breast Cancer Patients In Benin City, Nigeria
Context The incidence of breast cancer in Nigerian women has been rising since the mid 1970s and it is now the commonest malignancy in Nigerian females. The need for diagnostic approaches that take into cognisance the demographic and socio-economic uniqueness that fuels the high prevalence of this disease in our environment cannot be overemphasised. Objective This is a prospective study to determine the cost effectiveness of the introduction of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) on the cost of care of women with palpable breast masses in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). Method One hundred and three (103) consecutive FNAC of palpable breast masses were performed on 98 patients referred from the surgical outpatient clinic between January 2005 and March 2006. Comparison was made with subsequent histological diagnoses in order to ascertain the diagnostic accuracy of the procedure and later, determine savings made by the introduction of the procedure compared to hitherto only available option of open surgical biopsy. Results The impact of the introduction of FNAC on the cost of care of patients with breast lumps was assessed and it is established that a reduction of between N7,000 and N15,000 in expenses incurred by these patients was achieved and also a direct impact on patient compliance and reduction in number of surgical cases was noted. Conclussion The introduction of FNAC was found to be useful in the reduction of cost of management of all categories of patients with breast lumps.
Key words: Fine needle, breast cancer, cytology, cost.