University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 49

Abstract 1990-1999

Geller BM, Oppenheimer RG, Worden JK, Ashley JA. Referral patterns for the evaluation of non-palpable breast abnormalities. South Med J. 1999 Sep;92(9):886-92.

BACKGROUND: Non-palpable suspicious mammographic abnormalities require image-guided breast biopsies. In this study, we examined primary care physicians' knowledge of breast biopsy procedures for non-palpable lesions and referral patterns for breast biopsies; we also identified channels to disseminate information. METHODS: We mailed a baseline survey to all primary care physicians, surgeons, and radiologists in Vermont. RESULTS: Primary care physicians are more likely to refer for excisional rather than percutaneous biopsy. Unlike surgeons and radiologists who learned about these procedures through journals and professional meetings, primary care physicians' most common source of information was from radiologists. CONCLUSIONS: Information about indications for using percutaneous breast biopsy should be available in journals and at meetings to help primary care providers decide on the most appropriate algorithm of workup for patients with non-palpable suspicious breast abnormalities requiring biopsy.

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