A biopsy removes a very small amount of tissue from the body so that it can be examined under a microscope. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if the tissue contains cancer or other abnormal cells.
Biopsy is performed under local anesthesia. That means that before the biopsy, the area will be numbed with a medication called lidocaine. Then, a needle will be inserted into the area of concern to remove a sample of the breast tissue. You will be awake throughout the procedure.
There are several types of breast biopsy procedures. All biopsies involve taking a tissue sample, but there are different methods for locating the area in your breast for biopsy. The type of biopsy done will depend on the location and size of the breast abnormality.
- Stereotactic biopsy uses a mammogram machine to locate the area to biopsy.
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy uses an ultrasound machine to locate the area to biopsy.
- MRI-guided biopsy uses an MRI machine to locate the area to biopsy.