A biopsy is the only definitive way to evaluate a breast lump or a breast imaging abnormality. Breast biopsies are performed by physicians when an area of concern is identified.
For this procedure a small piece of tissue is removed and analyzed under the microscope. The type of biopsy will vary from patient to patient based on the nature of the problem.
Different types of biopsies include:
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) uses a very thin needle that is inserted into the area of concern to remove cells for analysis. Commonly, more tissue is required for a definitive diagnosis.
Core Needle Biopsy
Core needle biopsy uses a slightly larger needle to obtain a larger breast tissue sample. Core biopsies may be performed with the help of an x-ray stereotactic mammogram (stereotactic core biopsy) or an ultrasound (ultrasound guided core biopsy).
Surgical biopsy is performed in the operating room by a surgeon with the help of a mammogram or ultrasound to remove all or part of a lump or calcification. The Carbone Cancer Center is one of the few centers in Wisconsin that also uses MRI to guide surgical biopsies (MRI guided biopsy).