Doctors use a number of tools to diagnose breast cancer, including biopsies. Medical oncologist Nancy Chan, MD, clinical research director for breast cancer at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, tells Giddy that while a doctor will order a breast biopsy to check a lump or mass or to follow up on findings from a mammogram or ultrasound, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has breast cancer.
“A biopsy usually involves removing a small piece of tissue to be examined by the pathologist,” says Dr. Chan, also a member of the faculty in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “The biopsy will determine if the lump or mass in question is cancerous.”
Dr. Chan says most biopsies can be performed with only local anesthesia. She also provides tips on how to prepare for the procedure, including discussing any medications you are taking with your care team before your appointment.
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