Types of Breast Biopsy: Which One is Suitable For You

A breast biopsy in Singapore is a medical procedure that extracts a small tissue sample from the breast for further examination. This determines whether a suspicious lump or abnormality is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).

Early detection and diagnosis are crucial for successful breast cancer treatment. This article empowers you with knowledge about the types of breast biopsy procedures available in Singapore.

Who Needs Breast Biopsy in Singapore

A breast lump may indicate an abnormality in the breast. It’s important to remember that not all lumps are cancerous. Our breast specialist in Singapore may recommend a breast biopsy if you experience any of the following

What Are the Types of Biopsy for Breast Cancer

The specific type of biopsy depends on several factors, including the size, location, and characteristics of the suspicious area. Here’s a comparison of different types of biopsy for breast cancer.

Biopsy Procedure

Procedure Details

Results

When to Consider

Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA)

– Uses a thin needle and syringe to extract a small sample of cells from the abnormality. 

– Performed under local anesthesia.

– Indicates if cells are normal, atypical, or cancerous.

– Provides a general nature of the lump but not a definitive diagnosis.

– Ideal for small lumps and to monitor lumps you may choose to observe.

Core Needle Biopsy (CNB)

– Uses a thicker needle to extract core samples of tissue for analysis.

– Guided by ultrasound for precise targeting.

– Performed under local anesthesia.

– Provides a definitive diagnosis (histological diagnosis) of the lump.

– Allows further testing for treatment planning.

– Preferred choice for diagnosing most lumps.

Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (VAB)

– Uses a larger needle to extract larger tissue samples.

– Often used with ultrasound or mammograms.

– Performed under local anesthesia.

– Provides a definitive (histological) diagnosis of lumps and mammographic calcifications.

– May remove benign lumps entirely (up to 2cm).

– Ideal for small lumps, mammographic calcifications, and minimally invasive removal of benign lumps.

Excision Biopsy

– Surgical procedure to remove a lump or area of breast tissue for examination.

– May involve wire localization for difficult-to-feel lumps.

– Provides complete histological diagnosis with information on margins.

– Ideal when removal by other methods is not possible, when intact tissue architecture is needed for diagnosis, or when removal with clear margins is necessary.

Biopsy Procedure

Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA)

Procedure Details

– Uses a thin needle and syringe to extract a small sample of cells from the abnormality.

– Performed under local anesthesia.

Results

– Indicates if cells are normal, atypical, or cancerous.

– Provides a general nature of the lump but not a definitive diagnosis.

When to Consider

Ideal for small lumps and to monitor lumps you may choose to observe.

Biopsy Procedure

Core Needle Biopsy (CNB)

Procedure Details

– Uses a thicker needle to extract core samples of tissue for analysis.

– Guided by ultrasound for precise targeting.

– Performed under local anesthesia.

Results

– Provides a definitive diagnosis (histological diagnosis) of the lump.

– Allows further testing for treatment planning.

When to Consider

– Preferred choice for diagnosing most lumps.

Biopsy Procedure

Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (VAB)

Procedure Details

– Uses a larger needle to extract larger tissue samples.

– Often used with ultrasound or mammograms.

– Performed under local anesthesia.

Results

– Provides a definitive (histological) diagnosis of lumps and mammographic calcifications.

– May remove benign lumps entirely (up to 2cm).

When to Consider

– Ideal for small lumps, mammographic calcifications, and minimally invasive removal of benign lumps.

Biopsy Procedure

Excision Biopsy

Procedure Details

– Surgical procedure to remove a lump or area of breast tissue for examination.

– May involve wire localization for difficult-to-feel lumps.

Results

– Provides complete histological diagnosis with information on margins.

When to Consider

– Ideal when removal by other methods is not possible, when intact tissue architecture is needed for diagnosis, or when removal with clear margins is necessary.

At the Andrew Lee Breast Clinic (ALBC), we understand the importance of clear communication and patient empowerment. Our breast specialist will guide you through every step of the process, from initial consultation to diagnosis and treatment planning. We offer all the types of breast biopsy procedures mentioned above to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

Why Consider Breast Biopsy: 5 Benefits of Breast Biopsy

Undergoing a biopsy gathers vital information to make informed decisions about your overall breast health and well-being.

1. Definitive Diagnosis: A biopsy provides an accurate and definitive diagnosis of breast abnormalities. It offers a conclusive answer to move forward with a complete understanding of your symptoms.

2. Precise Treatment Planning: Our specialist identifies the specific type of cancer, if present, through the biopsy result. This detailed information allows for targeted treatment options, leading to better outcomes and minimising side effects from unnecessary treatments.

3. Prognosis and Staging: The information gained from a biopsy determines the cancer stage if diagnosed. Knowing the stage allows our breast doctor to create an accurate prognosis and guide treatment decisions.

4. Assessing Hormone Receptor Status: Certain breast cancers are fueled by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. A biopsy assesses the presence of hormone receptors, allowing our doctor to recommend hormonal therapy alongside other treatment options.

5. Evaluating HER2 Status: Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) is a protein that may fuel the growth of some breast cancers. A biopsy determines HER2 status, which allows our breast specialist to incorporate targeted therapies that block HER2 if applicable.

Breast Health Empowerment: Breast Biopsy in a Safe and Supportive Environment

A breast biopsy is a crucial step in the journey towards breast health. It gives patients peace of mind to navigate their next steps with clarity and confidence. Early detection through a biopsy improves the chances of a positive outcome.

At the Andrew Lee Breast Clinic (ALBC), our team acknowledges that undergoing a medical procedure can be a source of distress. We prioritise creating a safe and comfortable space for every patient throughout their breast health journey. Our compassionate and experienced breast specialist, Dr Andrew Lee, will answer all your questions and empower you throughout the process.

Navigate your breast health journey with knowledge, confidence and a supportive environment.

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