Breast Cancer

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What to Expect from a Breast Biopsy

Dr. Elizabeth Comen Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

A breast biopsy is performed when a suspicious lump or calcifications are found on a physical exam or a mammogram. The procedure involves inserting a very fine needle into the suspicious area and removing a small amount of tissue to determine if it is, in fact, cancer. It’s typically a short procedure that may not be comfortable but shouldn’t be painful. There’s usually no scarring from a breast biopsy, though some patients may experience a little bruising.

There are several different ways breast biopsies are done. Most are done using mammography to locate the tumor. Ultrasound can also be used. And if neither of these techniques work, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a third option.

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Dr. Elizabeth Comen serves as a medical advisor to SurvivorNet. She is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Read More