Why it's done

Your doctor may recommend a breast biopsy if:

  • You or your doctor feels a lump or thickening in your breast, and your doctor suspects breast cancer
  • Your mammogram shows a suspicious area in your breast
  • An ultrasound scan reveals a suspicious finding
  • Your breast MRI reveals a suspicious finding
  • You have unusual nipple or areolar changes, including crusting, scaling, dimpling skin or a bloody discharge
Nov. 22, 2016
References
  1. Esserman LJ, et al. Breast biopsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  2. For women facing a breast biopsy. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/examsandtestdescriptions/forwomenfacingabreastbiopsy/. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  3. Having a breast biopsy: A review of the research for women and their families. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageAction=displayProduct&productID=2234. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  4. Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastbius. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  5. Magnetic resonance (MRI)-guided breast biopsy. RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastbimr. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  6. Pfenninger JL, et al., eds. Breast biopsy. In: Pfenninger & Fowler’s Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Percutaneous biopsy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  8. Lonzetta N, et al. Diagnosis and management of benign, atypical, and indeterminate breast lesions detected on core needle biopsy. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2014;89:536.