breast biopsy
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What is breast biopsy? 4 Different types of breast biopsies test

Breast cancer is one of the most dangerous and prevalent illnesses in women in the world and cancer which kills the most women per year. If you want to learn more about this dreadful disease, follow this link –

There are several stages of diagnosing breast cancer, and the last and the most certain test is a breast biopsy. A lot of suspected breast cancer cases are finally disproven when a biopsy is performed. Here are some details about this procedure.

Four Types of breast Biopsy tests-


The term ‘biopsy’ means extracting a piece of tissue from the body and inspecting it for any signs of malignant cells. Despite the common name, there are different procedures that can be performed. Some of these are more invasive than others and the exact procedure you are given depends on a variety of factors.

1. Core Needle Biopsy

CNB is the default type of biopsy. Essentially, if other tests indicate that you may have cancer, you will likely be given this type of biopsy. A wide hollow needle is inserted into the suspicious region in your breast to extract a piece of tissue.

It is called a core needle biopsy because it extracts a cylinder core of your tissue to be tested further, like ice cores are extracted from the polar ice by scientists. Typically, more than one core is extracted during the test to ensure that there are no false positives or false negatives. CNB should prove definitively if there are cancer cells in the samples, but it can still miss some types of cancer, so you may be offered to do other types of biopsy.

2. FNA Biopsy

The FNA stands for Fine Needle Aspiration. Essentially, this procedure includes using a syringe with a thin needle which is used to aspirate (or withdraw) a tiny piece of tissue from the problematic area.

If the problematic area is easy to feel with your fingers. The needle can be guided by the doctor’s fingers. Otherwise, an ultrasound is used to guide the needle. The procedure is typically done multiple times to ensure that the sample is not a false positive or a false negative. The whole procedure is likely to last under half an hour.

The samples taken out should tell you what the problem area is. If the liquid is clear, it is most likely a cyst, if there is blood, or the fluid is cloudy it is also very unlikely that it is cancer. However, if the sample taken out is solid, it needs to be inspected further.

3. Surgical Biopsy

In some cases, the whole lump, or a part of it, will need to be cut out and tested additionally. When this is done, the surgeon has two options-

  • They can cut only a part of the lump, which is sufficient to be tested and diagnosed, which is called an incisional biopsy.
  • The other option is to remove the entire problem area, which may include parts of healthy tissue for safety reasons.

This type of biopsy is fairly invasive and creates a scar. It requires some healing, which is why it is typically not the first choice for most patients.

4. Lymph Node Biopsy

This is a test which aims at discovering whether cancer has spread. It is performed on the armpit lymph nodes. It can be done either in combination with other kinds of biopsies or after cancer has been surgically removed.

Biopsies are the most precise tool we have to discover breast cancer, but it is only the start. If you are diagnosed with this illness, you need to consult your doctor about treatment options as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are numerous medications being developed even as we speak.