Fine needle aspiration cytology is an inexpensive, atraumatic technique for the diagnosis of disease sites. This paper describes the technique and illustrates how it may be applied to the management of tumours throughout the body. The limitations of the method, the dangers of false positive reports, and the inevitability of false negative diagnoses are emphasised. In a clinical context the method has much to offer by saving patients from inappropriate operations and investigations and allowing surgeons to plan quickly and more rationally. It is an economically valuable technique and deserves greater recognition.
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