It is a myth that breast biopsy is a screening test for breast cancer. Breast biopsy is an examination done to detect any kind of disorder and not only breast cancer. Breast self-examination is a healthy practice which must be developed by all women. Only during self-examination, one can realize about any abnormalities like change in appearance or unusual nipple discharge or lumps can be felt in the breast.
Lumps in the armpit area, nipple retraction or inversion, red or scaly breast skin, nipple itching and breast pain can also lead to suspicion and in this case, excisional biopsy becomes very important.
The doctors can confirm the presence of a lump by palpation or imaging studies like ultrasound or MRI or even mammography. Once confirmed, the patient is suggested to undergo a breast biopsy.
A biopsy is a procedure where sample cells or tissues are taken from the suspicious areas and checked under a microscope. A biopsy could be done for any part of the body. The breast biopsy procedure includes the same technique.
This procedure can be invasive or non-invasive i.e. surgical or non-surgical, but the objective is to collect sample tissues from the suspicious lump or the whole lump is taken out, which is known as lumpectomy.
Surgical biopsy requires incision on the skin while non-surgical procedures include techniques like vacuum assisted biopsy, breast needle biopsy or fine needle aspiration biopsy.