Surgery Necessary for Biopsy?

Last Modified: January 24, 2012

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Question

Do I have to have a surgery to get a biopsy for possible breast cancer?

Answer

Christine Hill-Kayser, MD, Radiation Oncologist, responds:

Not necessarily. Sometimes the initial biopsy can be done with a large needle; however, your doctor may still recommend a surgery if the needle biopsy is negative for cancer or inconclusive. A surgical biopsy allows the pathologist to look at much more tissue under the microscope, and this may be necessary either to rule out cancer or to further characterize a known cancer.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Interpreting Test Results transcript.


News
ASCO: Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatments Analyzed

Oct 31, 2014 - In patients with synchronous stage IV colorectal cancer who receive up-front modern combination chemotherapy, immediate colon surgery to remove the primary tumor is seldom necessary, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 29 to June 2 in Orlando, Fla. These findings accompanied several other studies presented at the conference focusing on treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.



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