Breast needle biopsy

Breast needle biopsy

Breast needle biopsy

Alternative Names: Needle biopsy

A breast, or needle, biopsy is used to see whether a breast lump is cancerous or not. After you have been given a local anaesthetic, a biopsy needle is inserted into the lump and a small sample of fluid and tissue is withdrawn. The sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis, the results of which take 1 to 2 days. Where the needle was inserted, there may be a small risk of excessive bleeding and a very small risk of infection. Sometimes, if there is some doubt about the biopsy results, an open biopsy, or lumpectomy, may become necessary as early detection and treatment make a great difference to the survival rate. Most breast lumps, however, are non-cancerous (benign).

What is it?
Breast biopsy (needle) is a procedure where a small sample of breast tissue is removed for analysis.

It may be done in your doctor’s rooms, a clinic, or in hospital. It takes less than an hour.

Why is it done?
Breast biopsy is done when a lump is noted (on self examination, doctor’s examination, or mammogram) and you need to know if it is benign (non-cancerous) or if it is breast cancer.

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is needed although you will need to sign a consent form.

During – how the test is done
You will undress and the skin over the breast lump will be thoroughly cleaned. Local anaesthetic is injected under the skin (this will be a little painful). The biopsy needle is then inserted, through the skin, into the lump and some fluid and tissue is withdrawn. A simple dressing is placed over the biopsy site.

This sample is the sent to a laboratory for analysis.

After the test
You will have a simple dressing, which should stay in place for a few days. The results may take 24-48 hours to become available.

Risks and Compilations
There is a small risk of excessive bleeding and an even smaller risk of infection, at the biopsy site.

Special Issues
Needle biopsy is not always conclusive and an open biopsy, or lumpectomy, may become necessary if there is any doubt.

Most breast lumps are benign. Even if the biopsy reveals cancer, it is very important to realise that early treatment makes a significant difference to the outcome/survival rate.

Short Description
A breast, or needle, biopsy is used to see whether a breast lump is cancerous or not.

Keywords
Needle biopsy, breast biopsy, biopsy



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