There’s a good chance you will never need to schedule an appointment to have your breasts biopsied ever in your life. For those of you who do require a breast biopsy, however, there are a few things you should know before undergoing the procedure. Here are the 3 questions you should ask your
LA breast biopsy center before scheduling the appointment.
What is a breast biopsy?
A breast biopsy is when tissue or fluid is removed from the breast region for the purpose of examining it closely. Once removed, these cells are examined under a microscope and sent for further lab testing as well. The main purpose of this is to check the health of the breast tissue and make sure there are no cancerous cells present.
When is a breast biopsy necessary?
A breast biopsy is often confused with a mammogram, but they are actually two very different things. A mammogram should be done every year after a woman reaches a certain age to see if there are any abnormal lumps within the breast. If something is found from a mammogram screening, this is when a breast biopsy is necessary.
If a lump is seen with a mammogram or felt with a self or doctor-performed exam, a biopsy could be necessary to determine if the lump is cancerous. This is why regular mammograms and visits to the OBGYN are essential – especially once you hit 45 years old – to catch breast cancer before it progresses too far.
Are there different types of breast biopsies?
Yes, there are several different types of biopsies, some more invasive than others. The type of biopsy that you undergo depends on a few factors such as where the lump was found, how large it is, and how suspicious the lump is. These factors will help determine which of the 3 main types of biopsies you should receive.
1. Fine Needle Aspiration
This method uses a very thin needle that is attached to a syringe. The syringe is simply pushed through the skin to withdraw tissue or fluid from the suspicious area. A doctor will perform fine needle aspiration if he or she suspects that the cyst is filled with fluid. Once the fluid is taken from the lump, the cyst should ideally collapse and the sample can be sent for further testing.
2. Core Needle Biopsy
This is similar to the first method, but the needle that is used is larger and more hollow. Fluid is less likely to be removed, but instead a tissue sample will be taken. Typically the surgeon will take multiple samples (anywhere from 2 to 6) to get a better idea if the tumor is malignant.
3. Surgical Breast Biopsy
This is by far the most invasive biopsy of the three. Before a surgeon resorts to a surgical biopsy, a needle one will most likely be attempted. During this procedure, you will be awake but your breast will be completely numbed. A small incision will be made with a scalpel and the surgeon will extract a small piece of the lump. It will then be sent away for testing.