A breast biopsy is advised if the health care provider is concerned about breast cancer because of an abnormal mammogram or breast ultrasound, or a palpable growth during physical examination.
Breast biopsy can be performed by various techniques-
Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology Biopsy (FNAC).
Core Needle Biopsy (CNB).
Excision Biopsy (surgical biopsy).
Imaging guidance (x-ray, ultrasound or MRI) is required for non-palpable breast growth or lumps. Advantages of non-surgical biopsies-
Are less stressful for the patient.
Minimize the risk of complications like bleeding and infection.
Cause minimum skin scarring.
Leave no internal scar to interfere with the accuracy of future mammograms. Disadvantage of non-surgical biopsies-
Non-surgical biopsies are not always as reliable as surgical biopsies in producing a conclusive diagnosis. Some patients who undergo a non-surgical biopsy have to undergo a follow-up surgical biopsy.
The results for small biopsies and fine needle aspirations may be available the next day. The result of most breast biopsies is available within a few days after the procedure. Sometimes special testing is required, and the results may take longer.