A breast biopsy is a procedure in which part or all of a suspicious breast growth is removed and examined. A biopsy can either be performed through a needle or a small incision. using a surgical procedure. The sample is then examined and evaluated under a microscope by a pathologist to identify non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tissue.
Types of Breast Biopsies
• Fine-needle aspiration biopsy. A thin needle is inserted into the area of concern and a sample of cells or fluid is removed.
• Core needle biopsy. A needle with a special tip is inserted into the breast and a sample of breast tissue about the size of a grain of rice is removed.
• Vacuum-assisted core biopsy. This is done with a probe that uses a gentle vacuum to remove a small sample of breast tissue. The single small cut doesn't require sutures and leaves a very small scar.
• Open (surgical) biopsy. A small cut in the skin of the breast and part of all of the suspicous area is removed. This may be done as a first step to check a lump or if a needle biopsy doesn't provide enough information.