What is a Breast Biopsy?
- Since most breast cancers are detected during screening, biopsies are often performed by breast radiologists (they may also be performed by surgeons).
- During a biopsy, a small piece of breast tissue will be removed and then observed under a microscope.
- A biopsy can help doctors determine if breast cancer is present, what subtype of the cancer it is, and what the best course of treatment may be.
- If your doctor orders a biopsy, be sure to ask for instructions about what to do to prepare for the procedure and what potential side effects to be aware of.
If cancer is detected, the biopsy can help determine several important factors when it comes to treatment.Read More
“But in general, when a woman is found to have a suspicious finding on a mammogram or an ultrasound, that leads to imaging … and then usually the standard of care is to perform what’s called a needle biopsy.”
A needle biopsy involves sticking a tiny needle into the area of concern and taking out a snippet of tissue to observe under a microscope.
A biopsy can help:
- Make a breast cancer diagnosis
- Identify the subtype of cancer
- Inform the best course of treatment
“The benefit of the needle biopsy is it’s very, very, relatively speaking, it’s very minimally invasive and you get a lot of information before you’ve even done surgery or treatment,” Dr. Port says.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Why is a breast biopsy being recommended?
- What type of breast biopsy will I get?
- Do I need to do anything to prepare for the procedure?
- What potential side effects — like bruising or discomfort — should I prepare for?