Breast biopsy

breat biopsy

Breast cancer is responsible for a significant number of deaths globally. Affecting males and females, although disproportionately, this cancer can be diagnosed in time due to the success of screening process. 

Since women are more likely to get breast cancer, it is recommended that they get regular mammograms after the age of 50, and sooner if they have greater risk for cancer. 

If the mammogram shows presence of lump in the breast(s), or any other signs that could point towards cancer, people are then recommended to get biopsy done by their General Surgeon in Karachi  to ascertain the presence of cancer

Reasons for getting breast biopsy 

Biopsy essentially is the process of removal of tissue so that the cells can be analyzed by pathologists to ascertain if they are cancerous, and what stage at that. Not all tumors are cancerous, some are benign as well. Hence, biopsy is done to ascertain the presence of cancer.

If the mammogram shows there to be a mass in the breast, doctors recommend getting the test. 

Moreover, they are also conducted when there is a suspicious discharge from the nipple, crusting of the region, dimpling of the skin, scaling or there are problems otherwise with the nipples 

Similarly, biopsies are conducted when there are issues found in the mammogram that need further assessment like presence of small calcium deposits, cysts etc. 

Types of breast biopsies 

Depending on the location and the size of the lump, different types of biopsies are conducted. Your health and your own preference also play a role in the type of the test conducted. Some biopsies are conducted under general anesthesia, whereas others are done under local. 

These include:

Core needle biopsy 

In this process, a thick needle is inserted inside the breast to extra samples of tissues, known as cores, from the breast. 

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy

It is like core needle biopsy, but the needle used in this procedure is finer. A relatively smaller sample of cells is extracted. It also helps in ascertaining if the lump is solid or is filled with fluid. 

MRI-guided core needle biopsy 

As the name also suggests, this type of biopsy requires the assistance of an MRI image to guide the surgeon as to the location of the lump. The patient is laid face down on the table with holes for the breasts. Surgeon then makes a small incision to allow for the core needle to pass through, and samples are then collected. 

Surgical biopsy 

Surgical biopsy involves putting the patient under general anesthesia and making a cut for the retrieval of tissue. At times, the entire mass is removed as well.

If the lump is hard to find, and cannot be felt, then the doctors might have to use the technique of wire localization to find the mass and then remove it. 

Stereotactic biopsy 

In stereotactic biopsy, doctor gets the clearer picture of the problem through the visual aid of a mammogram. Once the precise area for the biopsy is located, then an incision is made. A needle or a vacuum probe is then used for extracting the tissue. 

Ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy 

In this procedure, ultrasound device is used first to locate the mass. Doctor then makes the incision at that point, and the sample is then extracted from it.

Risks of breast biopsies 

Patient will feel some unwanted side-effects of the procedure. Soreness, swelling and bruising of the breast are some of the things that can cause pain to the patient. 

Moreover, there is also the risk of there being an infection at the site of the wound. Since tissue is removed from within the breasts, therefore, some people might also see visual changes in their breast(s). 

Rarely does biopsy lead to any complications, but you should still discuss the procedure at length with your doctor at Fatima Memorial Hospital

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