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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

  • Christa M Profile

    Waiting for biopsy results is driving me crazy. Had my biopsy one Thursday so I should know by the end of the week,

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      MEEEE TOOOOO! It is so terrifying and sickening to have to wait. Try to keep in mind doctors are doing lots of biopsy's because they strive to be pro-active. One of the gripes of the insurance company's is too many are done. So many of these biopsy's come back benign. We, as humans, always...

      more

      MEEEE TOOOOO! It is so terrifying and sickening to have to wait. Try to keep in mind doctors are doing lots of biopsy's because they strive to be pro-active. One of the gripes of the insurance company's is too many are done. So many of these biopsy's come back benign. We, as humans, always go to the dark side. Arrrrgh. Please keep us posted, I hope it all comes back benign. I will share with you my radiologist told me, straight up, at the biopsy, "It would come back positive." She was right but today, I am cancer free!!!

      I hope and pray the time goes by quickly and you will be ok. Hang in there, we all know what you are going through.

      Sharon

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      The waiting and unknown can be horrible. Try to surround yourself with people and things to do to keep your mind off it! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Hearing that my tumor was a small cancer at age 31 made me feel like I was hit by a truck. But I too, am cancer free and about to...

      more

      The waiting and unknown can be horrible. Try to surround yourself with people and things to do to keep your mind off it! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. Hearing that my tumor was a small cancer at age 31 made me feel like I was hit by a truck. But I too, am cancer free and about to turn 33.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I just had a lumpectomy and sentinal node biopsy. Two weeks later I am having pain when I move my arm, especially over my head? Does this go away?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Nikol Vega Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes it goes away eventually, take it easy though

      1 comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Took a long time for me too. And after 5 months, it's sometimes still tight and I need to stretch a lot, but the pain subsided eventually.

      Comment
  • Diane Larcheveque Profile
  • Thumb avatar default

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    almost 8 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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