Various Types of Breast Cancer Biopsy Procedures

By on July 11, 2013

Breast cancer biopsy is used for diagnosing of breast cancer. Breast cancer is a group of cancer cells that grow within the cells of the breast.

These cancer cells can attack the surrounding tissues and spread to other areas of the body. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women.

If you have breast cancer, you may observe some common symptoms like breast pain, nipple redness and bloody discharge and dimpling the part of the breast.

Based on these symptoms, your doctor will do physical examination and also suggest for a mammogram and ultrasound test for further evaluation.

Breast Cancer BiopsyIf any abnormality in the breast is discovered during mammogram and ultra sound, your doctor may recommend a breast cancer biopsy, as it is the only way to determine the cancer cells.

Breast cancer biopsy is a procedure of removing a sample of tissue from the suspicious breast growth for laboratory testing. The sample tissue is suctioned out with the help of needle or cut out through a surgical procedure.

This removed sample will be examined and evaluated under a microscope by a pathologist to check for the breast cancer cells. [Tips for Living with Breast Cancer]

Different types of breast biopsy:

There are different types of breast cancer biopsy procedures. The type of breast cancer biopsy is suggested by your surgeon based upon the size and where it is located in the breast.

Fine-needle aspiration:

FNA is a type of biopsy procedure. It is the least invasive and affordable needle biopsy procedure, and it is performed by a pathologist who is specialized in cytopathology. During this procedure, your doctor will give local anesthesia to numb the breast.

Your pathologist or radiologist will use a thin fine needle to draw a small amount of tissue sample from the breast lump. This test also used to drain out the fluid from a benign cyst. It is a quick and safe procedure performed at the outpatient clinic.

Core biopsy:

Core biopsy is similar to FNA, but multiple samples of tissues are removed rather than a tiny sample of cells. This procedure is performed under a local anesthesia to numb the area, and your pathologist will use a large needle to remove multiple samples of tissue from the suspicious area.

In many cases, your doctor will insert the needle about 3 to 6 times to get enough samples. This procedure offers quick and accurate results without significant discomfort and scarring.

Vacuum biopsy:

Vacuum breast biopsy is also known as minimally invasive breast biopsy (MIBB), a latest way of performing a breast cancer biopsy. This type of biopsy is generally used to remove a larger sample of the breast tissue than a needle biopsy.

This procedure is performed under a local anaesthesia and your surgeon will make a small incision in your breast tissue. Based on your ultrasound or x-ray, your doctor uses a small vacuum probe to take out the sample from the suspicious area. This can be repeated 8 to 10 times to remove the sample thoroughly.

Incisional biopsy:

This procedure is same like regular surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will give local anesthesia to numb the breast area and use a sharp device to cut the skin to remove a piece of the breast tissue for examination.

If needle biopsy results are unclear and not definite, your doctor may suggest for incisional biopsy. This biopsy is more unpleasant than needle biopsy. It leaves a scar and takes more time to recover.

Excisional biopsy:

This procedure is performed under a local anesthesia. In this procedure, your radiologist will insert a thin wire to mark the right area for biopsy. After that, your surgeon will take out the entire area of suspicious tissue from the breast and also remove normal tissue from the surrounding cells.

It leaves a mark on the breast and needs more recovery time. Excisional biopsy is one of the best breast cancer biopsy methods to get an accurate result without getting a false result.

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