Breast cancer is a new age epidemic, the emergence of which has been confirmed in almost every country. As per the World Health Organization, breast cancer is reported to impact around 2.1 million women annually and is one of the most frequently detected malignancies among women. However, with the emergence of advanced diagnostic and treatment methods, breast cancer is becoming a more preventable disease.
Early detection is a turning point in case of cancer management. It helps improve cancer outcomes and increase the survival rate. According to healthcare practitioners and experts, biopsy is presently the most reliable method to accurately determine the presence of cancerous cells in the body. The emergence of modern biopsy technologies, and with the rise of bio-psycho-socio-medical model, there has been a heightened requirement of choosing technologies that offer optimum therapeutic outcomes and inflict minimal damage. Therefore, various biopsy techniques when evaluated for their diagnostic accuracy, needs also to be evaluated for their therapeutic efficacy and extent of injury inflicted.
Breast Biopsy procedure, in a nutshell.
A breast biopsy is basically a procedure in which a tissue, or sometimes a fluid, is removed from the suspicious area. The acquired cells are then examined closely under a microscope and further tested by a radiologist or a surgeon to check for breast cancer presence.
Statistics suggest approximately 20 percent of these biopsies yield a breast cancer diagnosis.
Different Types of Breast Biopsies
Physicians usually suggest the least-invasive biopsy procedure dependent on the size and location of the tumor. Following are the most commonly used breast biopsies:
- Fine needle breast biopsy – A fine needle aspiration (FNA) is generally recommended when the mass is easily seen on ultrasound or easily felt by the physician. A surgeon or radiologist performs a fine needle biopsy.
- Core needle breast biopsy – The technique has widely been adopted as a less invasive biopsy option. It is often the preferred type of biopsy as it doesn’t require surgery and removes more breast tissue than an FNA biopsy. In addition, the rate of complications, risk of bleeding, infections, and hematoma formation are considerably low.
- Stereotactic breast biopsy – Stereotactic procedures are performed when suspicious micro calcifications are observed on a mammogram or when the abnormality is so small a physician can’t feel it. A special type of biopsy needle designed to acquire tissue samples is guided to the suspicious mass.
- Vacuum assisted breast biopsy – It is continuously being used as a safe and minimally invasive biopsy procedure. Vacuum-assisted core biopsy is an extremely effective alternative to surgical biopsy. It allows precise location of the suspicious area via image guidance so samples from only that region are acquired.
Biopsies are becoming less invasive and more accurate. Today biopsy procedures are performed using advanced technologies like the MultiCare Platinum prone breast biopsy table which features digital spot mammography system which offers a customized image processing menu that permits the user to enhance images for structure definition and improve visualization of targeted areas requiring breast biopsy or localization.