Imaging studies such as mammograms and breast ultrasounds, can lead doctors to suspect that a person has breast cancer. A Breast Biopsy is the only way to know for sure. A biopsy involves a sample of tissue from the suspicious area and examining it under a microscope by a pathologist.
Different techniques can be used to perform a biopsy, the least invasive procedure possible and provides the best visualization of the area is used to determine the most appropriate technique.
Breast biopsy procedures
It’s important to know that with any of these methods, about 80% of abnormal growths turn out to be noncancerous.
Stereotactic breast biopsy
When a mammogram shows a breast abnormality, this special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth. Stereotactic breast biopsy is also an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound.
An ultrasound-guided breast biopsy can be performed when a breast ultrasound shows an abnormality. It can evaluate lumps under the arm or near the chest wall, which are hard to reach with stereotactic biopsy. There are times when your doctor may decide that ultrasound guidance for biopsy is appropriate even for a mass that can be felt.
This type of biopsy is most helpful when MR (magnetic resonance) imaging shows a breast abnormality. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.
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