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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

  • anonymous Profile

    Here's my question...I just turned 33, found out last night that I will have a bilateral and chemo can anyone help me out on what to expect as far as the chemo and reconstruction or any other helpful information?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous, I know we are all so sorry to hear at such a young age, you have breast cancer. Every woman's breast cancer is different on a cellular level. There are many factors and findings that go into the decision how your treatment will go. It depends on what type of breast cancer you have,...

      more

      Anonymous, I know we are all so sorry to hear at such a young age, you have breast cancer. Every woman's breast cancer is different on a cellular level. There are many factors and findings that go into the decision how your treatment will go. It depends on what type of breast cancer you have, the stage, the grade, and your age. You are in limbo right now because you are still being tested. Once your team have your treatment schedule set, your life will settle down. I can tell you, where you are right now is lousy. We really don't know what your treatment will be. As far as chemotherapy, everybody handles it differently. Some people it is tough, other people, like myself, it was relatively easy. They have very good druges to keep you from getting nauseated. You WILL lose your hair. That is a --for sure--. It starts to drop out at about 2 weeks after your first treatment. I did not have reconstruction but usually if you have a mastectomy and you are going to have reconstruction, they place tissue expanders to make a pocket for implants. There are other types of reconstruction and that will be discussed with you depending on your specific circumstance.
      A suggestion for you while you are going through this diagnosis phase, take a spouse, relative and good friend to take notes and listen to what is being said. I did not remember a third of what was said. Thankfully, my husband and best friend came along to help me through this tough time. You have got to be your own best advocate. You have got to speak up, ask questions, and make sure you are getting the correct medication. Every woman's treatment will be different because it is not individualized for each woman. It is a long journey, but you will come out the other side a much stronger woman. Breast cancer treatment ain't for wimps! Hang in there.... you WILL make it!
      Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • sandra hayley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had a mastectomy and chemo in 2006, had breast cancer again in 2011, had surgery and radiation. Think positive! You can beat this! I also found out I have the brca2 gene(breast cancer gene) I am now 41 and trying to stay positive and eat healthy and...

      more

      I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had a mastectomy and chemo in 2006, had breast cancer again in 2011, had surgery and radiation. Think positive! You can beat this! I also found out I have the brca2 gene(breast cancer gene) I am now 41 and trying to stay positive and eat healthy and exercise regularly.

      1 comment
  • Teresa Klein Profile

    had biopsy this morning. biopsy went a lot smoother than I thought. Now it's the waiting game. Really scared.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Good luck

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Teresa,
      Waiting is awful. You have had this procedure done so it is checked off. Try to keep yourself busy to pass the time. Lots of these turn out to be a lot of worrying for nothing. Hang in there and keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    has anyone had an MRI guided core biopsy done if so how painful

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Minimal pain just a pinch. Very uncomfortable positioning. Was more worried about what the results would be.

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I had it and don't remember any pain at all. Awkward positioning if I recall, but it's temporary. Good Luck!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How soon after mastectomy is it ok to have intimate relations with your spouse?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about...

      more

      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about our first, second ... 30th time is different than before. I am not in the mood in the same way. My heart is, but my body could care less most of the time. I want to let him know I love him and I feel allowing him some normalcy of a sexual release seems important for him, so I do what I can.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      As soon as you and your special other are comfortable . My husband was afraid I'd break. He got over it. :-)

      Comment

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