A new score for the evaluation of palpable breast masses in women under age 40

Katherine T. Morris, John T. Vetto, J. K. Petty, Sharon S. Lum, Waldemar A. Schmidt, Su Ellen Toth-Fejel, Rodney F. Pommier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to develop a rapid and accurate diagnostic test for palpable breast masses in women under age 40. Methods: Masses were evaluated utilitzing a modified triple test score (MTTS), which assigned scores of 1 point for benign, 2 points for suspicious, or 3 points for malignant findings from physical examination, ultrasonography, and fine needle aspiration. The MTTS was the sum of the three scores and was correlated with biopsy or follow-up. Results: Among 113 masses, 100 scored 3 points, 8 scored 4 points; all were benign. Three scored 5 points; 1 was malignant. Two scored ≥6 points: both were malignant. Conclusions: The MTTS has 100% diagnostic accuracy when other than 5 points. Masses scoring ≤4 points are benign. Masses scoring ≥6 points may proceed to definitive therapy. Masses scoring 5 points (3%) require biopsy. This approach avoids open biopsy in the majority of cases, while capturing all malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-347
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002


  • Breast cancer
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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