Specimen Types

1. Total mastectomy ± ANC.

2. Breast-conserving surgery - wide local excision, quadrantectomy, partial mastectomy ± ANC.

3. Needle localisation biopsy - for microcalcification for parenchymal deformity.

Specimens submitted fresh to the laboratory that have a clearly palpable lesion can be initially incised following painting of excision margins and prior to thorough formalin fixation (24-48 hours). This allows sampling for consented research and optimal tumour fixation.

Figure 113. Blocking mastectomy/quadrantectomy specimens.

Impalpable and localisation specimens are not incised prior to fixation as this may distort the lesion, precluding accurate assessment of histological appearances and relationship to the margins, compounded by leaching of the paint onto the cut surface.

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