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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

  • Linda Hubbard Profile

    Should I have had a mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    almost 7 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Only you can answer that. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I chose not too have one, Where my lump was at the doctor didn't recommend me too have one, If I did I would have, It's people who have a mastectomy and still come back on the other side, So go with your first mind and heart.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does double mastectomy mean removing both breasts? My grandmother just got diagnose with breast cancer again. She's now had it in both breasts so it makes sense, but I'm only fourteen so I'm lost.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Yes double mastectomy does mean removal of both breasts. I had a double mastectomy march 14 th 2010. I was 49. It is very confusing and scary. I tried to keep in mind my breasts were not something I needed to keep alive, but if they were not removed that would be a likely possibility. So the...

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      Yes double mastectomy does mean removal of both breasts. I had a double mastectomy march 14 th 2010. I was 49. It is very confusing and scary. I tried to keep in mind my breasts were not something I needed to keep alive, but if they were not removed that would be a likely possibility. So the decesion was not difficult for me. Each person's situation is different, I had chemo before mastectomy, the mastectomy and then more chemo. I was in the hospital for the mastectomy for 7 days. I went home with 4 drains in. I got the drains taken out 2weeks after surg. I returned to work on the 4th or 5th week after surg. I healed well. I had to do some self physical therapy to get my right arm back to normal from where they took out some lymph nodes. I now have complete use of both arms with no swelling. You and/or your grandmother need to consult with her Ono team. Your local cancer center treatment center is a good resource to get in formation. The Internet is ok, but some times it can scare a person. As mentioned above it will be a great help and comfort for her if you are there to support her. Good luck and wish you both well and speedy recovery.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Double mastectomy is the removal of both breasts. I hope you will talk to your grandmother and give her lots of encouragement. Prayers for her recovery!

      Comment
  • blair greiner Profile

    My skin is black and blue under my compression sleeve. Is this normal? Worried!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Nancy Ries Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Blair, I was not in your situation. I would say "when in doubt" or if you have a question or concern, call your doctor's office.

      Comment
    • nancy  wilcox Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      are you taking aspirin or any blood thinners? You better call your doc- maybe the sleeve is too tight?

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had a wire-guided lumpectomy? Or a on Q painball after lymph node surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did just last week! It is like the biopsy. The wires were placed during a mammogram (very awkward, I agree) but the areas were numbed so the needles/ wires didn't hurt. They stayed in for the surgery that followed immediately after.

      1 comment
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a wire guided lumpectomy.

      Comment

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