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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

  • Mary Chase Profile

    Can anyone tell me about the DIEP flap? How is it done?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Mary , I'm looking into DIEP as well. There's an excellent website that shows actual pic of before & after called breastreconstruction.org. :)

      2 comments
    • Beth Marlow Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the diep done 7 months ago and it's basically taking adominal tissue and putting into your breast (I only had the left breast done) I was off work for 6 weeks driving 2 weeks after surgery went back to exercise after 3 months treadmill, walking and spinning.

      1 comment
  • Karen Smith Profile

    I lost my mother to breast cancer when she was 42. An ultrasound found a mass and I had a biopsy 3 days ago. I am now getting blisters on the breast that had the biopsy. Should I be concerned?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 6 years 1 answer
    • Donna Gray Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I would let the dr know. He will be the one to answer that. God Bless you

      1 comment
  • jenny l Profile

    Hi, I'm only 23 and I'm having a biopsy and sonogram done next week on the grape size lump I found under my armpit. Will that be enough to tell if it's cancer or should I ask for more tests?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      With a sonogram they will be looking if the lump is fluid filled or solid they may also be checking if there are any other suspicious areas. There are different types of biopsies. Fine needle aspirate they insert a wide bore needle and aspirate some of the tissue and send it to the lab. A...

      more

      With a sonogram they will be looking if the lump is fluid filled or solid they may also be checking if there are any other suspicious areas. There are different types of biopsies. Fine needle aspirate they insert a wide bore needle and aspirate some of the tissue and send it to the lab. A cone knive biopsy they remove a cone shape tissue sample and send that for pathology and then there is a wide incisional biopsy that they remove the entire lump or suspicious area pathology is able to evaluate the whole area and the surgeon can check for clean margins. The surgeon will usually decide what type of biopsy will give the best diagnosis.

      9 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm getting a nipple-sparing bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction this week. I'm fairly thin so my only option was implants. Anyone have any experience with this surgery? Were you happy with the outcome?

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_3a Patient
    about 2 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. ...

      more

      I had this surgery without the nipple sparring . The pain level was intense for the 1st 2 weeks because the implants are filled a little @ the time of surgery. Drains are put in in both sides removed after 2 weeks for me. Exercises my nurse taught helped with the pain. 1 night stay in hospital. I filled every 2 weeks which helped cut pain . Some women went every week. I went 34B b my original size. I wasn't trying to go big I just wanted something there. Looking @ myself with no breast made me sad but the end result is fabulous & yes I have no feeling in the breast prayers

      1 comment
    • Trisha Muller Quinn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing...

      more

      I noticed no one has answered your post ... I can't help you cause I had big boobs and they chop them both off ... Nipple saving I would have gone for if it was offered to me ... I wonder have much sensation you are left on the nipple .. But getting rid of the cancer is the most important thing ... Looks come second compared to life .... I haven't had any reconstruction but I'm happy to be boob free ... Any how hope that someone can answer And good luck with everything::)))

      Comment

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