Biopsies are performed for a number of reasons in the medical field. One of the most common types is a biopsy for lump in breast. Taking a breast biopsy is the best way to monitor the ever growing rates of breast cancer among women.
A breast biopsy is unlike a mammogram since it is not considered a preventative procedure. Typically a biopsy is only done if a lump has been found in the breast and your doctor needs to determine if it is cancerous or not.
Knowing when you need a biopsy, the types of breast biopsies, and the risks involved is important before you undergo this procedure. Here you can learn more about breast biopsy basics and when it is necessary to get one.
What is the main reason for getting a breast biopsy?
A breast biopsy is performed by taking a small piece of the breast tissue so that it can be tested in a lab. A biopsy isn’t just completed for the hell of it; there is always a reason to undergo the biopsy procedure. For a biopsy of the breast it is usually because a lump has been found through a normal breast exam or mammogram.
When you find a lump in your breast this is abnormal. It does not mean that you have breast cancer but it does mean that you should do some further testing. Testing from a biopsy is the best way for a doctor to determine whether you need surgery or another type of treatment.
What are the steps involved?
There are several different types of breast biopsies; they all serve the same purpose but follow different procedures. They all involved taking a small sample of breast tissue for further testing but the tissue can be taken in different ways from different areas of the breast.
What are the different types of biopsies?
The simplest and least invasive type of breast biopsy is fine-needle aspiration. According to Mayo Clinic this is the procedure involved in fine-needle aspiration:
“For the procedure, you lie on a table. While steadying the lump with one hand, your doctor uses the other hand to direct a very thin needle into the lump. The needle is attached to a syringe that can collect a sample of cells or fluid from the lump. Fine-needle aspiration is a quick way to distinguish between a fluid-filled cyst and a solid mass and, possibly, to avoid a more invasive biopsy procedure.”
This type of biopsy is the go-to option for surgeons since it is non-invasive, fast and efficient. There are instances however that require a different more invasive type of biopsy. Here are a few more types that could help determine the nature of a breast lump:
- Core-needle biopsy
- Stereotactic biopsy
- Ultrasound-guided core-needle biopsy
- MRI-guided core-needle biopsy
- Surgical biopsy
Are there any risks involved during the biopsy procedure?
There a few common symptoms of a breast biopsy but nothing life threatening. You might experience bruising or swelling of the breast, bleeding at the biopsy site, and extreme tenderness.