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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

  • Kristine Fonseca Profile

    Has anyone had DIEP (using belly fat) breast reconstruction that can share their story of the surgery and recovery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Erin Ely Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My Mom had a double mastectomy with a DIEP flap repair on Feb 1st. It was a 10 hour surgery in all. She spent one night in ICU and the three nights on the regular floor. She has had very little pain, the six drains bothered her more than anything. She does fatigue easily but she is getting...

      more

      My Mom had a double mastectomy with a DIEP flap repair on Feb 1st. It was a 10 hour surgery in all. She spent one night in ICU and the three nights on the regular floor. She has had very little pain, the six drains bothered her more than anything. She does fatigue easily but she is getting stronger everyday. They did not have to use any muscle for the flap so she maintains her abdominal strength. Also, she has no lymphadema due to only two nodes removed during the sentinel node biopsy. At her fist post op visit, five of the six drains were removed. I encourage women to consider this surgery if given the option. Yes, the surgery is long, but she will look amazing and be cancer free when all is said and done. I am Han RN and have been very pleased with her healing and progress. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me.

      5 comments
    • dorothy harder Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I havent had my reconstruction yet but I was thinking about this procedure. Because its all your own tissue. I just am hesitant cuz it seems you are getting so chopped up. But in the long run you'll have less infections or complications--so I'm told.

      7 comments
  • Tina Maximilian Profile

    2.5 years after a CNB my breast still hurts badly from all the pressure applied. What can I do?Has it increased my chances of developing cancer? Dr says it will fade and to avoid caffeine, nuts, meat and red wine.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 3 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I don't know what a CNB is. But if you have a breast that hurts, you need to see a dr about it. Not avoid foods. See someone else. Prayers to you.

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      How about a second opinion?

      1 comment
  • Dezeray Paris Profile

    Do you/did you ever get a weird itching feeling following a mastectomy? It has been 7 days since surgery. When I go to itch it I realize I have no feeling why is it itchy all the time?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    almost 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Deborah Camacho Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I think it is from the nerves regenerating. Sometimes they feel like they are in the wrong place, too. I think that is our brain relearning.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Over a year since my mastectomy and I was reconstructed this past Feb and I still itch but feel numb when I scratch. It is the most ANNOYING feeling in the world!! Now I just try not to scratch since the numbness is worse than the itch. Someone also said apply a little ice which will take the...

      more

      Over a year since my mastectomy and I was reconstructed this past Feb and I still itch but feel numb when I scratch. It is the most ANNOYING feeling in the world!! Now I just try not to scratch since the numbness is worse than the itch. Someone also said apply a little ice which will take the itch away without having to attempt the scratch.

      Comment
  • Francine Williams Profile

    I had surgurey on Sept 28th. My breasts are hurting where the cuts are and it huts real bad when I'm trying to get out of bed. Is that normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      Hi Francine after my surgery which was a Lumpectomy I had pain for several months although the pain was was not daily. After following up with my Dr I was told the pain was from scar tissue in my breast . However, I would suggest that you immediately notify your Dr since it has been more than...

      more

      Hi Francine after my surgery which was a Lumpectomy I had pain for several months although the pain was was not daily. After following up with my Dr I was told the pain was from scar tissue in my breast . However, I would suggest that you immediately notify your Dr since it has been more than 2 months since your surgery. Stay encouraged and keep smiling:) I recall that every little ache and pain regardless of what part of my body that i felt it the first thing I would say to myself is Oh I wonder if the cancer is spreading. Girl I had to finally tell myself I am cancer free!!!! But seriously whenever I was unsure about any aches and pains I would follow-up with my Dr. Keep me posted!
      Love and Blessings

      Comment
    • Francine Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      ~Hurts~

      Comment

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