When a woman finds a lump in her breast, the first thought that comes to her mind is cancer.
Being the most common cancer in the UK, this reaction is not unusual. The worst part is there are about 50,000 new cases that get diagnosed each year in the UK.
Even though experts have encouraged women to regularly check for lumps in the their breasts, there are lumps as only 10 per cent of women have cancerous lumps.
'Ten years ago, we would perform something called a fine-needle aspiration, which involves inserting a small needle into the lump and extracting a few cells, which would then be looked at under a microscope,' says Mr Marsh, from the London Breast Clinic.
'Often this would not give a definite answer, so the lump would have to be surgically removed. Now we can take a larger sample using a technique called a core biopsy. Together with improvements to mammograms and ultrasound scans, which now give more accurate images, this means we can nearly always work out what a lump is without removing it with an operation,' says Mr Marsh.