What is a Breast Biopsy?
A breast biopsy is a diagnostic test of tissue (and sometimes fluid) from a suspicious area of the breast. After taking the tissue samples, a pathologist will examine the cells under a microscope to look for breast cancer.
Why do I need a breast biopsy?
A biopsy is the best way to find out if you have breast cancer. It is done if your healthcare provider finds a lump or other suspicious area in your breast during a physical exam, Mammogram, Ultrasound, or MRI.
How is a breast biopsy done?
There are three general types of breast biopsies: Fine needle aspiration, Core needle biopsy, and Surgical biopsy. Your provider will consider many different factors before choosing the best biopsy option for you.
What is an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy?
An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy uses ultrasound waves and soundwaves instead of X-rays to create dimensional images of your breast. Once the lump or suspicious area is visible on the computer screen, the radiologist will use a special needle to remove samples of breast tissue for further testing.
What is an MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy?
An MRI-guided breast biopsy uses a powerful magnetic field, radiowaves, and a computer to help locate a lump or abnormality in the breast and guide a needle to remove a tissue sample for examination under the microscope.
What is a stereotactic-guided breast biopsy?
A stereotactic-guided breast biopsy uses mammography (a specific type of imaging of the breast using low-dose X-rays) to help locate an abnormality in the breast and remove a sample of tissue for examination under the microscope.
What to expect
You don’t need to do any special preparation before entering. Dress comfortably in a two-piece ensemble; you will have to undress above the waist. Do not use any type of powder, deodorant, or cream near your breasts. The test usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
After your biopsy
Most women feel little or no pain during the biopsy and leave no scars afterward. If you have any discomfort, an ice pack and pain reliever can help.
Although complications are rare, call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Prolonged bleeding or a foul odor.
- Unusual discharge or drainage.
- Firmness, redness, or warmth around the site.
- Fever of 100 ° F or higher.
A pathologist will examine tissue samples from your breast under a microscope for signs of breast cancer. Results are usually sent to your healthcare provider in 3-5 days.