The challenge for the GP is to determine which symptoms are most likely to be due to breast cancer and to investigate them effectively. The ‘triple test’ – clinical examination, imaging, and fine needle aspiration or core biopsy – is the most effective means to maximise breast cancer detection.
- The vast majority of breast symptoms will not be due to a breast cancer.
- The ‘triple test’ approach to diagnosis is the most effective means of maximising the detection of symptomatic breast cancer.
- Any woman with a positive result from any one of the components of the triple test requires further investigation and/or surgical referral, irrespective of normal results of other tests.
- All test results should be reviewed for consistency; when there is inconsistency, further investigation is required.