BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Cytologic Evaluation in Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

DESCRIPTION

The analysis of epithelial cells from breast duct fluid is intended as a tool to assess an individual's risk for breast cancer. A variety of techniques exist to obtain epithelial cells for cytologic evaluation, including random periareolar fine needle aspiration, nipple aspirate fluid, ductal lavage and suction.

Most breast cancers develop from the epithelial cells that line the breast ducts. Because abnormalities in these tissues may indicate an elevated risk of developing breast cancer, histologic examination of these tissues has been proposed as an aid in detecting individuals who are at risk of developing the disease. However, the clinical utility of these tests (e.g. FirstCyte Breast Test, HALO Nipple Aspirate Fluid collection system) are still being evaluated.

POLICY

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION  

There is insufficient evidence to evaluate the impact on net health outcome, therefore these procedures remain investigational.

SOURCES 

Danforth, D., Warner, A., Wangsa, D., Ried, T., Duelli, D., Filie, A., & Prindiville, S. (2015). An improved breast epithelial sampling method for molecular profiling and biomarker analysis in women at risk for breast cancer. Breast Cancer, 2015 Jun 8: 9, 31-40. (Level 4 evidence)

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. (1.2017). NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Breast cancer risk reduction. Retrieved July 25, 2017 from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

ORIGINAL EFFECTIVE DATE:  11/12/2005

MOST RECENT REVIEW DATE:  9/14/2017

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Policies included in the Medical Policy Manual are not intended to certify coverage availability. They are medical determinations about a particular technology, service, drug, etc. While a policy or technology may be medically necessary, it could be excluded in a member's benefit plan. Please check with the appropriate claims department to determine if the service in question is a covered service under a particular benefit plan. Use of the Medical Policy Manual is not intended to replace independent medical judgment for treatment of individuals. The content on this Web site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment.

This document has been classified as public information.