It is when a small portion of the tissue is removed to identify whether there is a cancer or not. There are many types, each one with pros and cons. Depending on the patient specific condition, the doctor will chose the best type to perform.
Main types of biopsies for breast cancer:
● Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
Removes a sample of the breast tissue cells to be examined. It is a procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia and it is quick. It uses a 20/21G needle attached to a syringe, guided by ultrasound.
● Core needle biopsy
Removes tissue fragments with a needle thicker than the previous type, attached to a pistol and using a stereotactic digital mammogram or ultrasound to guide it. With local anesthesia, the scalpel makes an opening so the needle can entry and several millimetric fragments are collected. This procedure uses the equipment screen in real time to see the area to be analyzed. In the end, a local compression is performed so there is no bleeding. This procedure does not requires patient admittance and the patient may come back the next day to change the curative.
● Vacuum-assisted biopsy (Mammotomy)
This procedure is similar to the core biopsy, but with a larger needle that has the ability to study the microcalcifications, distortions and asymmetric densities, which only can be characterized by the mammogram and with an increased error index in case of the core biopsy. However, the diagnosis is the objective of this procedure, in part of the cases, it is possible to remove the lesion, but this is not needed to get the diagnosis.
It is a breast image exam to detect the breast cancer. It is a quick test, the patient stays standing up and the breasts are compressed, horizontal and vertically. In the traditional method, the image is revealed in a film. In the digital method, the image goes to a computer and the quality has super-high definition.