A Breast Biopsy is a clinical procedure conducted to remove a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing. Simply, because of breast cancer forms in the cells of the breasts.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Kenya and East Africa. It can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.
Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment. As a matter of fact, survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining.
Largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.
Furthermore, when you’re told that you have the disease, it’s natural to wonder what causes the disease.
Here is more: All you need to know about Breast Cancer.
What is Breast Biopsy?
Firstly, a breast lump biopsy obtains tissue from the lump for assessment under a microscope. Common breast biopsy procedures include core biopsy, vacuum-assisted biopsy, and open surgical biopsy.
Secondly, Diagnostic Medical Imaging Equipment like ultrasound and mammogram may be used to guide the biopsy. A breast biopsy is a way to evaluate a suspicious area in your breast to determine whether it is breast cancer. Of course, there are several types of breast biopsy procedures.
Above all, a breast biopsy provides a sample of tissue that doctors use to identify and diagnose abnormalities in the cells that make up breast lumps.
In addition to other unusual breast changes, or suspicious or concerning findings on a mammogram or ultrasound.
Finally, the lab report from the breast biopsy can help determine whether you need additional surgery or other treatment. Read more about Diagnostic Medical Imaging Equipment.
Factors Contributing to the Breast Biopsy
For instance, you or your doctor feels a lump or thickening in your breast, and your doctor suspects it to be breast cancer.
If your mammogram shows a suspicious area in your breast, and an ultrasound scan reveals a suspicious finding. Also, if your Breast MRI Scan reveals a suspicious finding.
And, if you have an unusual nipple or areolar changes. Including crusting, scaling, dimpling skin or bloody discharge.
Read also about Breast Biopsy: Accuracy Questioned in Study.
What is a Core Biopsy?
In a core biopsy, the breast lump is first located by imaging, then local anesthesia is injected around the lump to numb the area.
Your surgeon will then make a tiny incision in the skin so that a spring-loaded needle can be inserted several times to obtain some tissue from the breast lump.
A Vacuum-assisted Biopsy (VAB) is similar to a core biopsy but uses a larger needle with a vacuum to pull the tissue into the device.
More tissue can be taken in a single insertion and this procedure is often used to remove small breast lumps rather than just taking a sample.
Like the core biopsy, a VAB is a minimally invasive procedure, thus causing minimal or no scarring.
What is an Open Surgical Biopsy?
An open surgical biopsy is a conventional way of removing the entire breast lump, and this is done as a day surgery procedure under general anesthesia.
There will be a longer scar, but this procedure allows the most complete removal of larger breast lumps. It depends on the size and nature of the lumps, and whether there is a decision to remove a lump during the procedure.
For tiny lumps (< 5mm) or complex cysts (a solid component in fluid), the core biopsy may not be able to obtain good tissue samples.
While a Vacuum-assisted Biopsy (VAB) allows more accurate placement of the needle and better tissue sampling for these lesions.
If the lump is causing symptoms of discomfort, and removal is required even if the lump is benign, I will do an open surgical biopsy to remove the lump directly.
How Do You Prepare For A Breast Biopsy?
In the first place, if your biopsy will be done using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), tell your doctor if you have a cardiac pacemaker.
Or even other electronic devices implanted in your body or if you’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
For one thing, an MRI generally isn’t recommended under these circumstances.
Additionally, before the breast biopsy begins, tell your doctor if you:
- Have any allergies
- Are taking blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
- Have taken aspirin in the last seven days
- Are unable to lie on your stomach for an extended period of time
Another important key, make sure that you wear a bra for your appointment.
Your health care team may place a cold pack against the biopsy site after the procedure. And the bra can hold the cold pack in place and provide support for your breast.
Does a Breast Biopsy hurt?
Anesthesia is the administration of medication to allow medical procedures to be done without pain. And in some cases, without the patient being aware during the procedure.
There are a variety of types of anesthesia, as well as several different medical professions that are able to give anesthesia.
During a biopsy scan, you will feel a slight discomfort as the local anesthesia is administered, similar to having a vaccination.
However, you shouldn’t feel pain during the biopsy procedure itself. If you do feel pain, you should inform the doctor.
Be that as it may, who will immediately pause the procedure to administer additional local anesthesia.
Here is more: Types of Anesthesia Used During Surgery
What happens After a Breast Biopsy?
With all types of breast biopsy except a surgical biopsy, you’ll go home with only bandages and an ice pack over the biopsy site.
Although you should take it easy for the rest of the day, you’ll be able to resume your normal activities within a day. Bruising is common after core needle biopsy procedures.
To ease pain and discomfort after a breast biopsy, you may take a non-aspirin pain reliever containing acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and apply a cold pack as needed to reduce swelling.
If you have a surgical biopsy, you’ll likely have stitches (sutures) to care for. You will go home the same day of your procedure and you can resume usual activities the next day.
Your health care team will tell you how to protect your stitches.
What is an MRI Scan?
For your information, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is a common procedure around the world.
An MRI scan uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create a detailed, cross-sectional image of internal organs and structures.
The scanner itself typically resembles a large tube with a table in the middle, allowing the patient to slide in.
Breast Biopsy and MRI Scan Risk Factors
A. Breast Biopsy
In general, some of the risks associated with a breast biopsy include:
- Bruising and swelling of the breast
- Infection or bleeding at the biopsy site
- Altered breast appearance, depending on how much tissue is removed and how your breast heals
- Additional surgery or other treatment, depending on biopsy results
As a matter of fact, contact your doctor if you develop a fever. And also, if the biopsy site becomes red or warm, or if you have unusual drainage from the biopsy site.
For one thing, these can be signs of an infection that may require prompt treatment.
B. MRI Scan
It is extremely rare that a patient will experience side effects from an MRI scan.
However, the contrast dye can cause nausea, headaches, and pain or burn at the point of injection in some people.
Allergy to the contrast material is also seldom seen but possible and can cause hives or itchy eyes.
Simply put, notify the technician if any adverse reactions occur.
People who experience claustrophobia or feel uncomfortable in enclosed spaces sometimes express difficulties with undergoing an MRI scan.
Finding a lump in your breast can be a scary experience and you naturally want to have a diagnosis as soon as possible. Fortunately, around 80% of breast lumps are benign.
And, with today’s modern techniques, the procedure used to make the diagnosis, called a breast biopsy, is usually minimally invasive.
Be that as it may, Dr. Lim Siew Kuan, a general surgeon specializing in breast surgery, has helped us discover the types of breast biopsies available.
Also, in addition, what to expect during and after a biopsy scan procedure.
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