Tolerability of breast ductal lavage in women from families at high genetic risk of breast cancer

Clinical Genetics Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Rockville, MD, USA.
BMC Women's Health (Impact Factor: 1.5). 07/2009; 9(1):20. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6874-9-20
Source: PubMed


Ductal lavage (DL) has been proposed as a minimally-invasive, well-tolerated tool for obtaining breast epithelial cells for cytological evaluation of breast cancer risk. We report DL tolerability in BRCA1/2 mutation-positive and -negative women from an IRB-approved research study.
165 BRCA1/2 mutation-positive, 26 mutation-negative and 3 mutation unknown women underwent mammography, breast MRI and DL. Psychological well-being and perceptions of pain were obtained before and after DL, and compared with pain experienced during other screening procedures.
The average anticipated and experienced discomfort rating for DL, 47 and 48 (0-100), were significantly higher (p < 0.01) than the anticipated and experienced discomfort of mammogram (38 and 34), MRI (36 and 25) or nipple aspiration (42 and 27). Women with greater pre-existing emotional distress experienced more DL-related discomfort than they anticipated. Women reporting DL-related pain as worse than expected were nearly three times more likely to refuse subsequent DL than those reporting it as the same or better than expected. Twenty-five percent of participants refused repeat DL at first annual follow-up.
DL was anticipated to be and experienced as more uncomfortable than other procedures used in breast cancer screening. Higher underlying psychological distress was associated with decreased DL tolerability.

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    • "DL, despite its invasiveness, produces material that is much more cellular than NAF that allows duct specific sampling. This method of obtaining breast ductal epithelial cells can be quickly performed in an office setting; patients do not need to be referred to a specialist and can potentially have the procedure by trained non-physician staff [16,17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ductal lavage (DL) involves evaluation of the ductal system of the breast for detection of intra-ductal carcinomas and precursor lesions by collecting breast epithelial cells using a small-gauge catheter inserted into a ductal orifice on the nipple. The aim of this survey was to analyze cytologic features of samples obtained from low-risk women with DL and to elucidate the efficacy of this diagnostic modality in evaluating fluid production, cannulating and determining atypical breast epithelial cells. Into this prospective study were consecutively registered 80 women between ages 28 to 67. Nipple aspiration was performed to identify all fluid-yielding ducts. According to the grading of specific features the interpretation of the sample included: normal/benign (category, 0), mild atypical (category, I), markedly atypical (category, II) or malignant (category, III) disorders. Ninety five percent (316/334) of the nipple aspirate fluid samples were classified as category 0, 4.8% (16/334) as category I and 0.2% (2/334) as category II changes. Category III disorders were not detected. Therefore, in 80% of the women examined results were within normal limits while 17.5% of the participants presented mild atypical and 2.5% markedly atypical rates. DL collection procedure proved to be rapid as well as acceptable by the women studied. It retains the advantage over other methods of nipple aspirate fluid in that it is easy to perform, thereby removing most clinician variability. It also helped low risk women to discriminate those with breast disorders that require additional investigation, further follow-up or administration of preventive medication.
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  • Cancer Research 01/2009; 69(2 Supplement):5002. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-5002 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated mammographic density (MD) is one of the strongest risk factors for sporadic breast cancer. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that MD is, in part, genetically determined; however, the relationship between MD and BRCA1/2 mutation status is equivocal. We compared MD in unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers enrolled in the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Clinical Genetics Branch's Breast Imaging Study (n = 143) with women at low-to-average breast cancer risk enrolled in the same study (n = 29) or the NCI/National Naval Medical Center's Susceptibility to Breast Cancer Study (n = 90). The latter were BRCA mutation-negative members of mutation-positive families or women with no prior breast cancer, a Pedigree Assessment Tool score <8 (i.e., low risk of a hereditary breast cancer syndrome) and a Gail score <1.67. A single experienced mammographer measured MD using a computer-assisted thresholding method. We collected standard breast cancer risk factor information in both studies. Unadjusted mean percent MD was higher in women with BRCA1/2 mutations compared with women at low-to-average breast cancer risk (37.3% vs. 33.4%; P = 0.04), but these differences disappeared after adjusting for age and body mass index (34.9% vs. 36.3%; P = 0.43). We explored age at menarche, nulliparity, age at first birth, menopausal status, number of breast biopsies, and exposure to exogenous hormonal agents as potential confounders of the MD and BRCA1/2 association. Taking these factors into account did not significantly alter the results of the age/body mass index-adjusted analysis. Our results do not provide support for an independent effect of BRCA1/2 mutation status on mammographic density.
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