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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    If I have a invasive tubular carcinoma tumor that is 4cm, how long should I wait before surgery removal? (my doctors say they cannot do it for two weeks...I am concerned it will grow or spread elsewhere )

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I can totally understand your concern. From what I've read....invasive tubular carcinoma tends to be low grade which means it is a slower growing cancer & two weeks is a reasonable time period to wait. I had to have chemo prior to my surgery due to my stage of cancer. I will have my mastectomy...

      more

      I can totally understand your concern. From what I've read....invasive tubular carcinoma tends to be low grade which means it is a slower growing cancer & two weeks is a reasonable time period to wait. I had to have chemo prior to my surgery due to my stage of cancer. I will have my mastectomy this coming Monday. That will be a period of four weeks between my last chemo and date of surgery. Here's a link that might help. http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/rare_idc/tubular/. Good luck with your surgery. :)

      Diana

      Comment
  • vicky kayley Profile

    Hi I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with invasive breast cancer. I'm having a mastectomy on the 28th then get results the Tuesday after. How long after surgery do you start chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Vicky, I'm sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed last May with invasive breast cancer as well. It's such a shock when you're first diagnosed. It's a lot to process. It helps so much to talk to other women who have gone through the same thing. Not happy for the reason...

      more

      Hi Vicky, I'm sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed last May with invasive breast cancer as well. It's such a shock when you're first diagnosed. It's a lot to process. It helps so much to talk to other women who have gone through the same thing. Not happy for the reason you're here....but glad you found us. :). Some women have their surgery first...then chemo. And other women have their chemo prior to their surgery. It depends on many factors such as size of tumor, stage, etc. I had chemo first to try & shrink the size of my tumor. I had my mastectomy 3 weeks after my last chemo treatment. Then I had more chemo 3 weeks after my surgery. But that doesn't happen too often. :). As Sharon said...when you get your path results back and have a set game plan, you'll feel much more in control. The time period could be anywhere from 3 weeks after your surgery on. Depending on your Onc. They'll probably want to do a port. You'll be so glad you did in the long run. It's so much easier in every way! I think the emotional aspect for me has been harder than the physical aspect. Just know you're not alone. Surround yourself with positive people. No "basement" people allowed! :). You're going to have "down" days. And that's ok. Cry when you need to. I'm a very positive person. But it's just normal and to be expected for you to be sad sometimes. Anyone that can be positive 24/7 doesn't have both oars in the water. ;). Read uplifting survivor stories. And there's a lot of them! My fav books are "chicken soup for breast cancer survivors", & "there's no place like hope" by Vickie Gerard. Plus you can key up a lot online. That kept me going. And we'll be here for you!!! There is a light at the end of the tunnel Vicky. I had stage 3C when I was diagnosed last may. I had 13 positive lymph nodes, two had broken outside the node, & a place in my chest wall. After chemo, surgery, then more chemo...now I have 6 more radiation treatments left. I am happy to tell you that my last PET scan showed no cancer!!!! I feel truly blessed! If you need any mastectomy tips...let me know. Much love & hugs

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Vicky, I wish you hadn't joined "our club". It is typical for treatment of breast cancer, to be different for nearly every patient. Lots of us have had the same diagnosis but in the big picture, treatment depends on microscopic findings by the pathologist. There is no set amount time for...

      more

      Hi Vicky, I wish you hadn't joined "our club". It is typical for treatment of breast cancer, to be different for nearly every patient. Lots of us have had the same diagnosis but in the big picture, treatment depends on microscopic findings by the pathologist. There is no set amount time for patients chemo. treatments to start. Have you had a consultation with an oncologist and if so, you can call him or her and ask the question? They will usually talk to you about having a port installed too. A port makes the delivery of the chemotherapy much easier. I know things have happened so quickly for you and your head is swimming with all sorts of questions. Things actually settle down once you get the surgery done and tests back. You will really have a solid plan laid out for you. Please keep in touch with us, we have all been there and will be happy to share our experiences. Take care, & healing hugs, Sharon

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is an MRI biopsy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    almost 9 years 5 answers
  • Thumb avatar default

    Im 27 and have had a lump in my left breast since i was like 14. This week I went to get an ultrasound, and was told the lump was lobular, big, and had veins. I have to go back for a biopsy. Do you think this could be cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      There are so many different types of lumps. Your Dr is being through by doing a biopsy. It's so much better to be safe than sorry. I know how scary it is. I've been there. Please know that 80% of biopsies end up being benign. I will think positive thoughts & pray that you're in that 80%. Hang in...

      more

      There are so many different types of lumps. Your Dr is being through by doing a biopsy. It's so much better to be safe than sorry. I know how scary it is. I've been there. Please know that 80% of biopsies end up being benign. I will think positive thoughts & pray that you're in that 80%. Hang in there. Hugs, Diana. :)

      2 comments
    • J G Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      As hard as it is.....Try not to jump to conclusions. Like Diana says" there are so many types of lumps and the greater percentage are negative.

      1 comment

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