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Breast Care: Breast Biopsy

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.

Ultrasound-guided biopsy

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.

MRI-guided biopsy

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.

To find breast biopsy services in your area, browse our Related Locations menu.


Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside

8201 E. Riverside Blvd.
Rockford, IL 61114

Phone: (815) 971-7000

Mercyhealth Breast Center

1000 Mineral Point Ave.
Janesville, WI 53548

Phone: (608) 741-6999

Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Walworth

Hwys. 50 and 67, N2950 State Rd. 67
Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Phone: (262) 245-0535
Toll-Free (800) 637-2901

Mercyhealth Women’s Center–Janesville

1000 Mineral Point Ave.
Janesville, WI 53548

Phone: (608) 756-6890

Mercyhealth Women’s Center–Rockford

7180 Spring Brook Rd.
Rockford, IL 61114

Phone: (815) 971-2299

Mercyhealth Woodstock

2000 Lake Ave.
Woodstock, IL 60098

Phone: (815) 337-7100
Toll-Free (888) 983-7100
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