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Specially trained nurse practitioner detected same breast abnormalities as surgeon
Date:6/14/2010

Women were just as likely to have breast abnormalities picked up by a specially trained nurse practitioner as a consultant breast surgeon, according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers at Glamorgan Hospital, Wales, UK, compared the findings of 126 women examined by a nurse practitioner and consultant surgeon referred to a symptomatic breast disease clinic over a 13-month period.

They produced exactly the same results in 92 per cent of cases.

"All the assessments were carried out by the same nurse practitioner and consultant surgeon and there were no statistically significant differences between the two sets of results" says lead author Mr Gary Osborn, a Specialist Registrar in General Surgery at the hospital, which treats nearly 300 women with breast cancer a year.

Key findings of the study included:

  • The women referred to the clinic during the study period were aged between 20 and 78 with a median age of 54.
  • Two of the 126 women had symptoms in both breasts, which means that 128 assessments were recorded.
  • 74 women (59 per cent) had some sort of abnormality.
  • 37 discrete lumps were discovered in 35 women, with the consultant surgeon missing two breast cysts and the nurse practitioner missing one. They recorded the same results in 34 of the 37 assessments, giving an agreement rate of 92 per cent.
  • Nine of the women had breast cancer. Both assessors gave five of the cancers a score of P4 (suspected malignancy) or P5 (malignant) and four cancers were given a score of P3 (indeterminate lump). A single lump thought to be suspicious (P4) by the surgeon was correctly identified as a breast cyst by the nurse.
  • The remaining abnormalities included harmless lumps filled with fluid (cysts), fibrous/glandular tissue (fibroadenomas) or fibrous tissue/blood vessels (papillomas).
  • 114 patients had scans 31 per cent had mamm
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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