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A breast biopsy involves removing a sample of breast tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or benign (non-cancerous). While physical breast exam, mammography,ultrasound, and other breast imaging methods can help detect a breast abnormality, biopsy followed by pathological (microscopic) analysis is the only definitive way to determine if cancer is present.


There are several different methods of breast biopsy, many of which are discussed in detail herein. These types include:


  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Vacuum-assisted biopsy (Mammotome or MIBB)
  • Large core surgical (ABBI)
  • Open surgical (excisional or incisional)



We may recommend a breast biopsy if:


  • You or your doctor feels a lump or thickening in your breast, and your doctor suspects breast cancer
  • Your mammogram shows a suspicious area in your breast
  • An ultrasound scan reveals a suspicious finding
  • Your breast MRI reveals a suspicious finding
  • You have unusual nipple or areolar changes, including crusting, scaling, dimpling skin or a bloody discharge


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