Orient Journal of Medicine

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Cost effectiveness of fine needle aspiration cytology for breast masses

CI Madubogwu, CO Ukah, IV Onyiaorah, DCD Anyiam, SNC Anyanwu, GU Chianakwana


Background: Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is an excellent method for diagnosing palpable lesions. It is very cost effective and saves huge amounts of money for the patients when compared with open surgical biopsy.
Objective: A prospective study carried out to evaluate the cost effectiveness of FNAC for palpable breast masses at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.
Methodology: A total of 180 patients were recruited into the study. All the patients had FNAC but only 110 patients had histopathological reports and the latter were used for test of validity. The total cost for FNAC and histopathology as well as cost saving between FNAC and histopathology for the 110 patients were calculated.
Result: The total cost for FNAC procedure and cytological evaluation of each smear was one thousand, seven hundred naira (N1,700.00 = US$11). The total cost for open surgical biopsy and histopathological evaluation was thirteen thousand, six hundred naira (N13,600 = US$88) per patient. It took an average of 2 days +/- SD 1 day to obtain FNAC results while, on the other hand, it took an average of 28 days +/- SD 7 days to obtain histopathological diagnosis.
Conclusion: Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) is very cost effective and saves huge amount of money and time for the patients when compared with open surgical biopsy.

Keywords: Accuracy, biopsy, cost effective, histology, safety

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