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

  • gima green Profile

    Does anyone wish they made a different decision on treatment and why?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      No, I did everything the doctors recommended as I plan on living a very long time. Of course my brain goes back to 3 years ago when I got my diagnosis at times since I'm still seeing my team on occasion and elected to leave my port in so go in every 6 weeks to get if accessed and flushed but...

      more

      No, I did everything the doctors recommended as I plan on living a very long time. Of course my brain goes back to 3 years ago when I got my diagnosis at times since I'm still seeing my team on occasion and elected to leave my port in so go in every 6 weeks to get if accessed and flushed but life is good.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No!! Not one minute because I'm alive to enjoy the hard work of treatment. My life since treatment has been challenging but every time my husband holds my hand, our son sits down to visit for a few minutes, our friends smile and hug me and say "We are glad your here." I love my life and I'm...

      more

      No!! Not one minute because I'm alive to enjoy the hard work of treatment. My life since treatment has been challenging but every time my husband holds my hand, our son sits down to visit for a few minutes, our friends smile and hug me and say "We are glad your here." I love my life and I'm very thankful I'm here.

      Comment
  • sheree oden Profile

    Has anyone had a recurrence in a previous mastectomy ? An identical tumor came back 10!yrs later in the tissue surrounding an implant where my left breast had been. Next week I will have a re mastectomy, followed by radiation and more chemo.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Lisa S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Recently diagnosed in my lymph nodes on my chest wall as well as many lymph nodes regionally after mastectomy chemo radiation and hormonal therapy. First dx 1/2010 this time 2/2012. Prayers and hugs going your way. Keep in touch.

      1 comment
    • Lisa S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Recently diagnosed in my lymph nodes on my chest wall as well as many lymph nodes regionally after mastectomy chemo radiation and hormonal therapy. First dx 1/2010 this time 2/2012. Prayers and hugs going your way. Keep in touch.

      Comment
  • Beth Bowman Profile

    How many women have to have 3 surgeries before the margins are clear?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I only had 1 surgery and would have had to have another had I not gone through radiation. I had a friend who had 2 surgeries. I would have gone through surgery as many times as necessary to get clear margins. It sounds like you are concerned so I would talk with my doctor about those concerns and...

      more

      I only had 1 surgery and would have had to have another had I not gone through radiation. I had a friend who had 2 surgeries. I would have gone through surgery as many times as necessary to get clear margins. It sounds like you are concerned so I would talk with my doctor about those concerns and maybe he/she can shed some light on why it took 3 times. God bless you and good luck to you.

      4 comments
  • jenny l Profile

    I went to the doctor yesterday to have a biopsy done on a lump I found and once the doctor realized my age he wouldn't do any necessary tests because he said I was "too young" to have breast cancer and sent me home... What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Jenny, I went through the same thing, but it was the insurance company that said I was too young for a mammogram and ultrasound to be covered. My g.p. felt the lump that i had found and ordered the tests. The ins co said they wouldn't cover it. It took 15 min of the doc arguing why I needed...

      more

      Hi Jenny, I went through the same thing, but it was the insurance company that said I was too young for a mammogram and ultrasound to be covered. My g.p. felt the lump that i had found and ordered the tests. The ins co said they wouldn't cover it. It took 15 min of the doc arguing why I needed them done for them to say yes. I felt the lump last April when I was 29. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in June. I would find another doctor that will listen to you. You do not want to wait if you feel there is an issue. How old are you, that the doctor says you are too young? I have met 3 ladies that are my age or younger just from this website. Unfortunately, no age is too young for a breast cancer diagnosis. If you have any other questions I am here to answer what I can. Best of luck to you. ~ Tiffani

      8 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      The other ladies are so right. Unfortunately there are still doctors out there that think there's an age limit on breast cancer. Not true!!!!!! You need to find a specialized breast center in your area. If you're not sure where to go...just call the American Cancer Society. They'll refer you to...

      more

      The other ladies are so right. Unfortunately there are still doctors out there that think there's an age limit on breast cancer. Not true!!!!!! You need to find a specialized breast center in your area. If you're not sure where to go...just call the American Cancer Society. They'll refer you to a good clinic in your area. Don't give up until you have an answer that you're content with. Don't ever hesitate to get a second opinion!!

      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