When an abnormal mammogram, ultrasound, MRI [link to 5.2.3] or a palpable mass (a lump that can be felt by physical exam) are found, a breast biopsy may be necessary to determine if the lesion is cancerous, pre-cancerous or benign (not cancerous). Biopsies are performed by surgeons at the UHS Breast Center. During the biopsy, the surgeon will remove a small sample of tissue from the mass. Once the tissue is removed, one of our pathologists will examine the tissue to determine if cancer is present.
There are several types of biopsies that are performed. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which type to use depends on your situation. Your surgeon or radiologist will recommend the most effective method to make an accurate diagnosis. Some of the things that will help them determine this are how suspicious the tumor looks, how big it is, where it is in the breast, how many tumors there are, other medical problems you might have and your personal preferences.
Types of biopsies performed at the UHS Breast Center:
- Stereotactic needle biopsy
- Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy
- Surgical biopsy