Overview of a breast biopsy

breast biopsy

A breast biopsy involves removing a sample of breast tissue or cells to test them for cancer.

A doctor may recommend a biopsy if a person has an abnormal mammogram result, a lump in the breast, in a nearby lymph node, or changes in the nipple, such as dimpling, thickening, scaling, or crusting of the skin, which will also result in the involvement of a biopsy.

There are several types of performing a breast biopsy: fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) for instance, involves the use of a very thin needle and a syringe to aspirate or withdraw a few cells from a palpable lump.

In the procedure of a Core needle biopsy (CNB), doctors remove solid and small samples of tissues. In this procedure, the needle is hollow and larger in diameter than FNAB needle.

Vacuum- assisted biopsy makes a cut which measures less than one-quarter of an inch. Through the incision, a probe is inserted and is guided towards the mass by means of MRI, X-ray or ultrasound.

Through an open biopsy procedure, also known as surgical or excisional biopsy, a cut measuring 1-2 inches is made in the breast in order to remove a part of or all of the lump for microscopic examination.

An ultrasound guided breast biopsy involves sound waves to locate a lump or any other abnormality to remove a tissue for further microscopic examination. The procedure is less invasive in comparison to surgical biopsy and does not expose ionizing radiation and leaves little scarring.