How is a
Core Biopsy done?
When a lady presents with a lump in the breast, and we have a doubt in mind - Is it cancer?, there is one - and only one - way to confirm it. This involves 'pulling' out a small piece of tissue from that lump and sending it across to the Pathologist, who will 'harden' it, slice it, place on a slide and see under the microscope, to see if he can see any cancerous cells. The procedure of pulling out a tissue from a tumor, anywhere in the body, is called a 'biopsy'. In the breast, we use an instrument which has a long needle, with a slot at the tip, for tissue from the breast to fit into. It as called as 'Core Biopsy'.
There are two Specialists who will do Core Biopsy:
If the lump is 'felt' by hand, then a Surgical Oncologist can do a Core biopsy in his minor operating room.
If the lump is small and 'not felt' by hand, but seen on an Ultrasound or Mammograhy, then the Radiologist will do an 'Ultrasound guided' or 'Vacuum guided' Core Biopsy. Of course the Radiologist can also do the biopsy when the lump is felt by hand as well.
Following is a brief idea of how a Surgical Oncologist does a Core Biopsy in the Operating Room.