Discovering an abnormal lump in your breast can leave you with a whole range of emotional responses – but above all questions and concern. But there is no need for alarm until you know for sure exactly what it is. And that is why Longstreet Clinic offers the best methods for establishing that degree of certainty, as well as a clear and concise path to take should that lump prove to be cancerous.
Determining whether an abnormal breast lump is cancerous or benign is critical in not only determining the next step in treatment if, indeed, it proves malignant; it can also establish peace of mind if it is not.
While modern mammogram can give a physician lots of information about your breast health, the most assured breast cancer screening is through breast biopsy. A breast biopsy provides a degree of certainty like no other, and Longstreet Clinic’s highly experienced surgeons fully understand how to perform this procedure and ensure the best results. Not only that, but our physicians are also here to provide you with the highest level of comfort and care. It is part of a whole approach that marries cutting-edge treatment with the best support for your needs. Whether it is, in fact, breast cancer or just a benign mass, a breast biopsy can make you certain and allows us our physicians to provide the next steps on your journey.
ABOUT BREAST BIOPSY
A breast biopsy is a procedure in which part or all of a suspicious breast growth is removed and examined for any evidence of breast cancer. The procedure is performed in an outpatient facility with a minimal recovery time.
There are four different types of breast biopsies available: needle, stereotactic, vacuum-assisted core and open. The type of biopsy that our physicians choose for you will depend on your specific situation. That means they determine the procedure based on the growth’s size and placement.
Some of the breast biopsies are so simple that they can be performed in our offices. That includes the core needle and stereotactic biopsies, which, despite their simplicity provide concrete information.
Core Needle Biopsy
In this procedure, a needle is inserted into the breast to extract a cellular sample of the breast tissue. The result determines if a growth is malignant or benign.
This procedure combines a needle biopsy with that of specialized imaging technology. This marriage of technologies allows for pinpointing the location of a lump that cannot be felt but is still visible on an MRI. Not appropriate for all types of lumps, the stereotactic biopsy can yield vital information in many instances.
During the procedure, your physician will use local anesthesia on the biopsy site and will take two-dimensional digital images of your breast from two different angles. After the imaging is complete, the various images are then put together to create an accurate three-dimensional picture of the abnormal area.
Your surgeon will then guide a small needle to the appropriate site within the breast and extract a tissue sample for analysis. When the procedure is complete, your physician will send the sample to a pathologist to determine whether the growth is cancerous or benign.
Typically, you can expect the results from biopsies between 72 hours and one week after the procedure. We understand that the waiting period often is the most difficult time, and we strive to have the results processed as quickly as possible while maintaining the level of quality we believe our patients deserve.
After the results are available, your physician will schedule a follow-up appointment to determine if any additional steps need to be taken in relation to the findings.
Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy
This procedure is an option when mammogram shows up very small abnormalities too small to be felt. It is performed under imaging guidance, such as a mammogram, to ensure that the physician has absolute precision.
After providing a local anesthetic, a vacuum-assisted core biopsy includes a small incision. A physician will then insert a special biopsy needle through that incision and, using imaging guidance, take several samples via a vacuum-powered instrument. Samples are retrieved and examined by a pathologist.
Open Breast Biopsy
A tried-and-true method of retrieving samples, an open breast biopsy allows our physicians to be certain and reach a mass no matter where it may be within the breast.
While it is the most invasive method, our physicians will take the utmost care to keep you comfortable and allow for a quick recovery. And it may also be the best option for you depending upon the size and placement of the mass.
Whatever style of breast biopsy you and your physician select, you can be certain that Longstreet Clinic providers will work to produce optimum results. Our aim is to provide you with concrete answers and to determine the next steps on your journey – all while taking your comfort and wellbeing into account.
To learn more or talk with our care providers, simply contact us today at 770-536-2323.