If your diagnostic imaging test shows unusual breast tissue, your doctor may order a biopsy. A biopsy takes a small sample of cells to check for cancer in a lab.
You may receive a biopsy during the same appointment as your diagnostic imaging exam at Carol Hatton Breast Care Center, a service of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. For your convenience and peace of mind, count on our team to provide your biopsy results as soon as possible.
To find the right spot in your breast to take a tissue sample from, your doctor may use the same type of imaging technology that showed the unusual cells. Your procedure may be:
Rest assured, your qualified care team will use appropriate tools and follow strict procedures to ensure your safety and accurate results. The American College of Radiology has accredited:
What to expect during a breast biopsy
Your doctor will clean the skin on your breast and inject a local anesthetic to numb the area. Then, the physician will make a tiny incision in your skin and insert a thin needle into the area that needs examination. You may feel pressure, but shouldn’t feel pain.
Imaging technology will confirm the needle is in the right place. Then, a small vacuum may help pull cells into the needle.
Your doctor may leave a tiny clip in the breast to mark the location of the biopsy in case you need more testing later. This clip will stay in your body permanently, but you won’t see or feel it.
Your entire procedure will last about 45 minutes to an hour. You may experience some bruising or swelling at the biopsy site on your breast, so follow your care team’s instructions to help it heal at home.
Your breast biopsy results
After your test, we’ll send your tissue sample to our laboratory. A pathologist (scientist who examines body tissues in a lab) will check it for cancer cells and send the results to your care team. You’ll get a call from your doctor with the diagnosis.
Take comfort in knowing about 80 percent of breast biopsies are benign, meaning they don’t show cancer. But if you learn you have breast cancer, you’ll be in the good hands of our compassionate nurse navigator, who guides you through the process of getting cancer care from our expert oncologists (cancer doctors).