You may need a biopsy if an abnormality is found in your breast. Tissue obtained during biopsy is then examined by a pathologist and a diagnosis is made. Eighty percent of breast biopsies result in a benign (not cancerous) finding.
A stereotactic needle biopsy is used when physicians cannot feel a lump that was found on a mammogram. During the procedure, the patient lies face down on a special table with an opening for the breast. Using special equipment, the breast is gently compressed and X-rayed from several angles and the data is entered into a computer, which accurately determines the location of the abnormality to within less than 1 mm. The radiologist then uses a needle to obtain sample the area for evaluation. There are no stitches or IV, and most patients can return to normal activities immediately after.
Fine Needle Aspiration
Fine needle aspiration involves inserting a very fine, hollow needle into a cyst to remove some fluid or tissue for examination by a pathologist.
Core Needle Biopsy
Core needle biopsy utilizes a needle inserted into the breast mass to remove tissue for examination. This is often done with ultrasound guidance to accurately target the lesion in the breast.
An ultrasound-guided biopsy uses ultrasound to identify and accurately target the abnormality and obtain a sample of tissue. These procedures use no radiation, are virtually painless and essentially leave no visible scar.