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3D-Guided Breast Biopsy

Sometimes a breast biopsy is needed to be absolutely certain that a mass is — or is not — cancerous. During a biopsy, a radiologist will remove a small sample of breast tissue for analysis under a microscope. In many cases, biopsy is the only way to confirm whether a breast mass is malignant or benign.

Breast biopsy will answer whether a patient will require surgery to remove the mass.

HonorHealth's Breast Health and Research Center at 19646 N. 27th Ave. in Phoenix offers 3D-guided biopsy. For the right patient, its advantages include less radiation, faster targeting of the mass, faster procedure time and the option to be seated during the biopsy.

This advanced, minimally invasive biopsy technique complements the 3D mammography system used for the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.

Other Common Types of Biopsies

Two dedicated breast specialists at the Breast Health and Research Center perform a full range of biopsy procedures. The most common types of biopsy are:

  • Stereotactic biopsy: You lie face down on the table, and your breast is placed through a hole in the table. Digital mammography captures two-dimensional digital images of the breast from two different angles. Stereotactic biopsy is used specifically for areas, such as calcifications, that may be only the size of three grains of salt and that were found on a mammogram. Calcifications are not visible on ultrasound.
  • Ultrasound biopsy: You lie on your back. Using a handheld transducer, a technologist will scan the breast to find the mass. Your breast will be numbed, and the needle inserted. Just as we use stereotactic biopsy for tiny calcifications and other areas seen best by x-ray, we use ultrasound guidance to biopsy areas of concern better seen with ultrasound.
  • Needle aspiration biopsy: A needle aspiration biopsy may be used when you have a cyst, which can be large and uncomfortable. A needle draws out (aspirates) the fluid so you'll be comfortable again.

If the fluid has blood in it, it will be sent to a lab for further review, but that's rather rare. Sometimes cancers can have a really thick fluid, but it's not a cyst. We'll always do a biopsy in that case.

  • Core needle biopsy: We remove tissue, not fluid, from a breast lump using a hollow needle. The samples are sent to the lab for further examination.

For more information, call 623-780-HOPE (4673).