loading... close

Diagnosis

 
Diagnosis

Chapter: 4 - Diagnosis

Subchapter: 4 - Biopsy

A biopsy is a diagnostic procedure in which cells are removed from a suspicious area to check for the presence of breast cancer. There are three types of biopsy: fine needle aspiration, core needle biopsy, and surgical biopsy.

Let’s discuss the different types in greater detail.

Fine Needle Aspiration
(FNA)/Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNABx)

If the lump is easily accessible, or if the doctor suspects that it may be a fluid-filled cystic lump, the doctor may choose to conduct a fine needle aspiration (FNA). During this procedure, the lump should collapse once the fluid inside has been drawn and discarded. Sometimes, an ultrasound is used to help your doctor guide the needle to the exact site. If the lump persists, the radiologist or surgeon will perform a fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNABx), a similar procedure using the needle to obtain cells from the lump for examination.

Core Needle Biopsy
Core needle biopsy is the procedure to remove a small amount of tissue from the breasts with a larger “core” needle. Similar to fine needle aspiration, an ultrasound might be used to help your doctor guide the needle to the exact site. Once removed, the suspicious area tissue will be examined for traces of cancer.

Surgical Biopsy
(also known as wide local excision)
During a surgical (or wide local excision) biopsy, the doctor will remove all or part of the lump from the breast as well as a small amount of normal-looking tissue. This procedure is often performed in a hospital with the patient under local anesthesia. If the lump cannot be easily felt, an ultrasound might be used to help guide your doctor to the suspicious area. Once removed, the abnormal tissue will be examined for traces of cancer. The surrounding margin, or small amount of normal–looking tissue, will be examined to determine if the cancer has been completely removed.

Many times after core and surgical biopsies, a marker is placed internally at the biopsy site. This is done so that if further surgery is required, the surgeon can more easily locate the abnormal area.

Related Questions

  • Michele Aboro Profile

    Hi I have just had sugary on stage 2b cancer and wanted to ask about what food is the best to eat before I start chemotherapy. Thanks Michele

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Sorry...that sent too early! The morning of my chemo, I ate something, like an English muffin and an egg. While getting started I had some milk to get some protein in case I wouldnt want it later. Bland foods that day and a few days after we're all I could tolerate. Watermelon and grapes were...

      more

      Sorry...that sent too early! The morning of my chemo, I ate something, like an English muffin and an egg. While getting started I had some milk to get some protein in case I wouldnt want it later. Bland foods that day and a few days after we're all I could tolerate. Watermelon and grapes were my savior and kept my hydrated when I was t drinking fluids. Which I was all the time. Be hydrated before during and after, so your body can flush out the toxins as fast as possible. Eat what you want before, but try to keep your nora

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I pretty much ate normally, which tends to be healthy. The

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can a mastectomy be done if the patient is on high levels of Coumadin ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Yes, but the surgeon, & cardialogist (or whatever doctor is prescribing Coumadin) would have the patient off the drug for several days before the surgery. My surgeon took me off aspirin and ibuprofen several days before my mastectomy. SInce the patient is on high doses of Coumadin, there is...

      more

      Yes, but the surgeon, & cardialogist (or whatever doctor is prescribing Coumadin) would have the patient off the drug for several days before the surgery. My surgeon took me off aspirin and ibuprofen several days before my mastectomy. SInce the patient is on high doses of Coumadin, there is probably a special protocol they would follow. Rest assured, this is a common situation surgeons deal with all the time as long as the patient is up-front with what medications are being taken.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Rosanna Wieder Profile

    My breast and nipple itch like crazy. Anyone know what I can do to stop it? Am 10 days post lumpectomy and node removal. Is it ok to put anything on them?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Whatever you use make sure the doc agrees and there are no open incisions.

      Comment
    • Traciann brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My doctor gave me avenoo baby lotion samples . It helped a ton even with the scars

      Comment
  • jeany turkett Profile

    Has anyone chosen not to have reconstruction after a double mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Jeany,
      I had a single mastectomy and chose no reconstruction. I would choose the same if I had a double mastectomy. As Rita Jo says no one could tell you have "store-bought-ta-ta's"
      My prosthesis is silicone, and feels real. I was fitted at a specialty store so it matched my other breast. My...

      more

      Jeany,
      I had a single mastectomy and chose no reconstruction. I would choose the same if I had a double mastectomy. As Rita Jo says no one could tell you have "store-bought-ta-ta's"
      My prosthesis is silicone, and feels real. I was fitted at a specialty store so it matched my other breast. My husband says "It hugs just like my other breast."
      I just did not want any more surgery and certainly didn't want the months of pain of expanders. You can always have reconstruction done in the future if you choose. If you are on the fence, I would go with the prosthetics and see how you do. I am completely happy with my decision. Whatever you choose, good luck to you. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Yes I chose to not have reconstruction. I have not regretted it at all. I have a wonderful pair of proths I where when I choose to. No one can tell. I had 42DD's before, which were uncomfortable in themselves. My "new proth." Girls are 42 C's and I love them. It is such a personal choice. ...

      more

      Yes I chose to not have reconstruction. I have not regretted it at all. I have a wonderful pair of proths I where when I choose to. No one can tell. I had 42DD's before, which were uncomfortable in themselves. My "new proth." Girls are 42 C's and I love them. It is such a personal choice. My doc said if I changed my mind down the road, I could get the reconstruction, but I am happy with my choice. Good luck with your journey.

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 1

An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.

spread the word