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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

  • sylvia clark Profile

    Chemo after surgery... what if you dont think you are healed?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Sylvia,

      What is happening that makes you think you aren't healed? If you are concerned you need to get in to see your surgeon and also call your oncologists office.

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It takes time to feel well. Your body has been treated but now it needs time to heal along with your mind and heart. Every week I feel better and almost a year out of chemo I'm just now feeling healed and adjusting to my new normal . I finished chemo6/30/2011, radiation 9/21/2011, tamoxifen...

      more

      It takes time to feel well. Your body has been treated but now it needs time to heal along with your mind and heart. Every week I feel better and almost a year out of chemo I'm just now feeling healed and adjusting to my new normal . I finished chemo6/30/2011, radiation 9/21/2011, tamoxifen for another 4 years and 3months. reconstruction 6/29/2012

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    After a double mastectomy, how do you use the bathroom?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Very carefully and slowly. It does hurt a the first few times, but the more you do it the less it hurts. Good luck.

      Comment
    • Traciann brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I didn't have any issues . Ask for help . Wet wipes helped . The green contrast was the gross part .

      Comment
  • Morgan Moser Profile

    My Sentinel Node Surgery today went well. I will find out the results on Friday... the waiting game continues.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Thats great Morgan , you are through that step now on to the next. Just take one day at a time. We are all praying for you.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Prayers for good news

      Comment
  • Kristianne Rice Profile

    I had an MRI done and they ruled one side benign and the other "probably" benign with no biopsy and want me to wait 6 months. Should I worry?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Adrienne private Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      What type of doctor did you see? I would ask someone experienced with breast cancer, personally. Also age doesn't matter- I was 35 when diagnosed. Usually a 6 month wait is to see if nodule/growth grows/changes. Were there tumors? be sure to tell doctor of any family history too.

      Comment
    • Kristianne Rice Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I saw my family doctor. I want to get a second opinion though, she hasn't really told me anything that's going on. She also didn't tell me where the things were found. The lumps are near the outside toward the armpit, but the questionable one is near the 6oclock area.

      Comment

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