Sampling and Evaluation of the Breast Surgical Specimens

  • Raquel Valencia-Cedillo


Breast biopsies are common surgical specimens to search for possible cancer via evaluation of palpable masses, radiologic lesions, or nipple discharge. It is crucial for the pathologist to have the knowledge of all the breast specimens that could be received, and the best manner to process them, in order to provide accurate information about the diagnosis, prognostic factors (e.g., tumor staging, histologic type, precursor lesions, etc.) and assessment of treatment response. Appropriate grossing of breast specimens is indeed a cornerstone for achieving a quality diagnosis. We also must consider that grossing of breast specimens has been evolving over the past few decades. As image-guided core-needle biopsy has gradually replaced surgical biopsy in the initial assessment of breast lesions, most patients have a definitive diagnosis at the time of excision.


Breast specimens Sampling 


  1. 1.
    Lester SC. Manual of surgical pathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2010. p. 262–88.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Huo L. A practical approach to grossing breast specimens. Ann Diagn Pathol. 2011;15:291–301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Roychowdhury M. Grossing (histologic sampling) of breast lesions. PathologyOutlinescom. Accessed 20 Nov 2017.
  4. 4.
    Gupta D, Nath M, Layfield LJ. Utility of four-quadrant random sections in mastectomy specimens. Breast J. 2003;9:307–11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel Valencia-Cedillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Hospital de Oncologia, Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialMexico CityMexico

Personalised recommendations