When your physician discovers an abnormal finding in one or both of your breasts, he/she may order a breast biopsy for further evaluation. A breast biopsy can determine if the abnormality is breast cancer. This procedure removes a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing.
When breast lumps, unusual breast changes such as a nipple discharge, physical changes to the nipple or areola, or changes to the breast’s skin color or texture are present, there is cause for concern. In addition, even though there may not be any visible physical changes, other suspicious or concerning findings from a mammogram or ultrasound will alert your physician that a breast biopsy may be needed for further evaluation.
During the procedure, a small sample of breast tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for pathology testing. The pathology report can help determine how your physician will proceed and recommendations to offer the patient (i.e. surgery, chemotherapy, radiation.)
There are different types of biopsy procedures. The size and location of the lump or suspected abnormality will most often determine the type of procedure that is recommended.