NEA Baptist Clinic

Breast Care - Breast Biopsy

Definition

A procedure that involves obtaining a sample of breast tissue and analyzing it in a laboratory for signs of cancer or other disorders.

How is the test performed?
There are 2 methods used to obtain the sample. One is a needle biopsy, and the other is called an open biopsy.

Needle Biopsy
You undress to the waist and sit or recline. The injection site is cleaned and sterilized, then injected with a local anesthetic. A syringe is then injected into the lesion or lump to be studied. Fluid may be removed first, then a tissue sample is obtained. The fluid is stored in a special tube, and the tissue sample is placed in a specimen bottle with preservative.

Once the tissue sample has been taken, the needle is removed and pressure is applied to the site to stop any bleeding. A bandage will be applied to absorb any fluid.

Open Biopsy
You undress to the waist and sit or recline. A local or general anesthetic is administered (depending on the size of the mass and your condition), and an incision is made to expose the lump. The entire mass may be removed (if smaller than 2 cm), or part may be excised (removed) if the lump is larger. The tissue may be tested before the entire lump is removed.

After the tissue sample is taken, the incision is sutured and a dressing and bandage are applied.

How to prepare for the test
Your medical history will be taken, and a manual breast examination performed. You must sign an informed consent form. For patients requiring general anesthesia, fasting for 8 to 12 hours before the test may be recommended.

How the test will feel
There may be a sharp, stinging sensation when the anesthetic is administered. During the procedure, there should be no pain and only slight discomfort.

Risks
There is a slight chance of infection at the injection or incision sight. Excessive bleeding is rare, but may require draining or re-bandaging.

What abnormal results mean
Benign tumors may indicate:

  1. Fibroadeno
  2. Fibrocystic Disease
  3. Intraductal Papilloma
  4. Mammary Fat Necrosis
  5. Mastitis

Malignant tumors may indicate:

  1. Adenocarcinoma
  2. Colloid Carcinoma
  3. Cystosarcoma
  4. Infiltrating Carcinoma
  5. Inflammatory Carcinoma
  6. Intracuctal Carcinoma
  7. Lobular Carcinoma
  8. Medullary or Circumscribed Carcinoma
  9. Paget's Disease
  10. Sarcoma

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed are nipple problems.

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