• January 21, 2023

A Comparison Between Fine Needle Aspiration and Core Biopsy

Biopsies are commonly performed to detect signs of cancer. Doctors often advise patients to get a fine needle aspiration or core needle biopsy after their breast screening exam to further investigate any lesions or areas of concern.

Here’s what you need to know about the two procedures.

What Is Fine Needle Aspiration?

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a diagnostic procedure in which a thin, hollow needle is inserted into a breast lesion (usually a cyst or lump) to remove cells or fluid. It’s a form of biopsy and is performed to check for the presence of cancer cells. The collected sample is further examined by a cytologist to determine the next course of action. FNA is also performed to remove fluid from a cyst to provide relief.

Why Would Your Doctor Recommend FNA?

FNA is usually recommended if the doctor feels a lump during a breast examination and suspects it to be a simple cyst. In this case, they may ask you to get an ultrasound followed by FNA.

FNA of the cyst provides doctors with an immediate result and helps them establish the nature of the cyst. Young patients are usually asked to get an FNA procedure as an initial diagnostic test when a new lump is detected, as it’s a less invasive method than other biopsies. The procedure can confirm whether the lump is benign or cancerous.

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What Is Core Needle Biopsy?

In a core needle biopsy (CNB), a hollow needle is inserted into the breast to extract a sample of breast tissue. The sample is then examined for cancer cells. If the physician detects a lump in the breast, the procedure may be performed in a surgical setting. In cases where the lump cannot be felt, the radiologist uses imaging methods such as ultrasound or X-ray to ensure the needle is inserted into the right area.

The three types of image-guided CNBs are:

Why Would Your Doctor Recommend a CNB?

Your physician may ask you to get a CNB if they feel a lump in the breast and the ultrasound or mammogram shows an abnormality. The procedure may also be suggested if you have certain symptoms even if no lump is present in your breast. The biopsy is performed to collect a tissue sample from the suspected area.

Moreover, a CNB is recommended for individuals whose routine breast screen mammograms show abnormalities and whose physician wants to further test a suspicious area.

TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital provides thorough breast screening and diagnostic services. Our Comprehensive Breast Center provides multiple biopsy procedures along with breast cancer treatments in Houston.

Visit our website today to learn more and find the right breast surgery specialist near you.

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