Lawrence J. Solin, M D, F ACR
Last Modified: January 20, 2002
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
What is the difference between a core biopsy of the breast and a stereotactic needle placement?
Lawrence J. Solin, M D, F ACR, Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
A core biopsy is when a large size needle is inserted into the breast tumor and a piece of tissue is removed for study in the lab. A core biopsy of a breast lesion is done for diagnosis, generally to determine if a breast lesion is benign or malignant. Also, a core biopsy can be done to confirm that a highly suspicious lesion is, in fact, a carcinoma to help with planning treatment.
Stereotactic needle placement is done by a radiologist as part of a biopsy or core biopsy procedure. During a stereotactic biopsy, a sample of tissue is removed from the breast using a hollow needle, which is accurately guided to the lesion via X-ray, mammography, and precise computer coordinates. The stereotactic needle placement helps to locate a lesion, which cannot be felt but is seen on mammography. This needle placement helps guide the surgeon to remove the correct area of mammographic abnormality at the time of the biopsy.
Jun 1, 2010 - Screening breast core needle biopsies for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 using immunohistochemistry is reliable when applying new American Society of Clinical Oncology-College of American Pathologists testing criteria, according to research published online May 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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