Cytopathology Competency Assessment

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 12 April 2019

Revised: 3 January 2019

Copyright: (c) 2012-2019,, Inc.

Gordon H. Yu, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 366
Page views in 2019 to date: 232
Cite this page: Yu G. Cytology/Competency Assessment - Introduction. website. Accessed August 21st, 2019.
Practice based learning and systems based practice
  1. Recognize the role of FNA in the clinical evaluation and management of lesions of the breast
  2. Clinical Evaluation
    1. Identify the utility and pitfalls of clinical features and physical examination characteristics of breast lesions during their diagnostic evaluation
    2. Become familiar with the recommendations for screening by mammography
    3. Become familiar with the sensitivity and limitations of mammography
    4. Learn the radiologic features of breast lesions on mammography which suggest benign and malignant processes
  3. FNA of the Breast
    1. Understand the indications for FNA of the breast
    2. Recognize the sensitivity and specificity of breast FNA
    3. Become familiar with the most common complications of breast FNA
    4. Recognize the limitations of breast FNA, with regards to specific subclassification of benign and malignant conditions
    5. Identify the most common causes of false-positive and false-negative FNA biopsy results, including size of the lesion aspirated, degree of fibrosis and specific subtype of malignancy
    6. Learn the recommended standards for specimen adequacy in breast FNA
    7. Identify the various causes of unsatisfactory breast FNA specimens
    8. Recognize the utility of special studies (i.e. flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry) in the evaluation of breast FNA
  4. The Triple Test
    1. Become familiar with the rationale for applying the triple test in the routine diagnostic evaluation of breast masses
    2. Learn the relative sensitivity and specificity of physical examination and mammography in the evaluation of breast lesions
  5. The “Gray Zone”
    1. Recognize that some FNA biopsies will not provide definitive diagnoses and will require additional tissue sampling (i.e. excision) for definitive characterization
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