Breast cancer evaluation is very important. Often times a woman may have no symptoms at all, and other times, she may discover a lump or something unusual. This is why screening is so important. If a woman does have breast cancer without symptoms, it can be treated quickly giving her a better survival rate. If you notice symptoms of breast cancer or the results of a physical breast exam suggest you may have breast cancer, general surgeon Dr. Elijah Mobley will order more tests to determine what is going on.
Dr. Elijah Mobley may order one of the following: MRI, CAT scan, x-rays, mammogram, or a biopsy. If one of the other tests find an abnormality in the breast, that may be cancer. A biopsy is the only test that can determine 100% if cancer is present.
There are many kinds of breast biopsies: fine (thin) needle aspiration biopsy, core biopsy, and a surgical biopsy.
- Fine Needle Aspiration
A fine (thin) needle aspiration biopsy, uses an extremely thin needle that is connected to a hypodermic syringe so a tiny amount of fluid can be drawn and examined.
- Core Needle Biopsy
A larger needle is used, and usually more than one ‘cone’ of tissue is removed from the suspected area. A local anesthesia is used and the procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or surgical center.
- Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy
A vacuum assisted core biopsy is similar to the core needle biopsy. With this procedure, the general surgeon uses a local anesthesia and makes a small incision in part of the breast being tested. A hollow tool (probe) is injected through the small incision into the abnormal breast tissue. The probe instrument is guided by either an ultrasound, MRI or mammography, ultrasound, or MRI. A tube of the breast tissue is then vacuumed into the hole on the side of the probe. A rotating scalpel inside the probe cuts a piece of the tissue (several pieces can be removed), and it is suctioned through the vacuum to be elevated.
- Surgical Biopsy
This type of biopsy is rarely done; the general surgeon takes out all of the mass and some of the normal looking breast tissue for evaluation.