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Accuracy of clinical diagnosis, mammography and ultrasonography in preoperative assessment of breast cancer

Augustina Badu-Peprah
Yaw Adu-Sarkodie


Background: Cancer of the breast is the most common malignancy affecting women in many parts of the world, hence its early detection has become necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality from the disease. In sub-Saharan Africa, radiological imaging, histology and management programs are associated with challenges. This study seeks to assess the validity of clinical diagnosis, mammography and breast ultrasonography in the preoperative assessment of suspected breast cancer patients for accurate detection of the disease to enable appropriate management.

Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was carried out in the Radiology Department of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, between November 2007 and July 2008 with a sample size of 103. All patients with a clinical suspicion of breast cancer who gave informed consent were recruited, underwent bilateral mammography and whole breast ultrasonography and then biopsy for all BI-RADS categories 4 or 5 lesions. The histopathology results were retrieved to complete the study.

Result: In this study the definition of malignancy was made using histology as the gold standard. A total of 103 patients were recruited for this study with mean age of 55(+15) years, out of which 52 (50.5%) had malignant lesions. The overall sensitivity of clinical diagnosis was 50.5%. While the overall sensitivity and specificity for mammogram and ultrasound were 73.0%, 80.0% and 100% ,80.4% respectively. 

Conclusion: In conclusion, this study has demonstrated that clinical diagnosis, ultrasound and mammography can potentially predict breast cancer disease with considerable sensitivity and specificity.


Funding: None declared

Keywords: Mammography, ultrasonography, histology, breast cancer.