Surgery Necessary for Biopsy?

Last Modified: January 24, 2012


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


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.


How to Find the Cancer Resources You Need - Brown Bag Web Chat
by OncoLink Editorial Team
June 15, 2011

Medicinal Mushrooms – Support and Safety During Breast Cancer
by The 4Wholeness Team
September 29, 2015

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