A breast biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of breast tissue is removed. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing under a microscope after it is removed. This can be done for a number of reasons, but is most commonly done to rule out breast cancer or determine the type of breast cancer someone has. There are a number of misconceptions when it comes to breast biopsies, so consider the following breast biopsy myths and facts.
Breast Biopsy Myths and Facts
Many people hear biopsy and panic. However, the test is highly beneficial in maintaining your long-term health. Consider the following myths and facts about breast biopsies so you are prepared.
Myth: A Breast Biopsy Means I Have Cancer
A breast biopsy does not mean that you have cancer. In fact, it is a really helpful tool to rule out cancer. A breast biopsy is helpful in investigating a lump in the breast. The purpose of the exam is to determine if a lump or growth is cancerous. The majority of biopsies performed do not result in a cancer diagnosis.
Myth: Biopsies Are Painful
A breast biopsy is not painful. However, it can be uncomfortable. An ultrasound-guided biopsy takes just 10 to 20 minutes. The area is anesthetized before your breast biopsy in Houston, including the tissue around the mass and the entry site. The diagnostic tool is quick and is not painful. Before your biopsy, you will be given information about the examination and what to expect on the day of.
Myth: Biopsies Cause Breast Cancer To Spread
A biopsy does not cause cancer to spread. It is a diagnostic tool used to determine if an abnormal area in the breast is cancerous. The tool itself does not cause breast cancer, nor does it make it spread further. Undiagnosed cancer can be fatal so it is critically important to get a biopsy if your medical provider recommends it. Early detection is a major factor when it comes to your prognosis.
Myth: Breast Biopsies Are High-Risk Procedures
Breast biopsies are not high-risk procedures. It is a safe and effective diagnostic tool. While they may be mildly uncomfortable, you should not experience any pain. After the biopsy, you may experience some mild discomfort, swelling, or bruising around the entry site. However, these are mild and should subside within a few days. The symptoms can also be effectively managed with over-the-counter medication.
Preparing For A Breast Biopsy
If your medical provider recommends a breast biopsy, consider the following tips to ensure maximum comfort during the exam.
- Clothing: Wear comfortable and loose clothing to your appointment. Wear layers so you are prepared if the office is colder or warmer than expected.
- Jewelry and Accessories: Avoid wearing jewelry or any accessories that could interfere with the exam.
- Medication: Avoid taking aspirin or blood thinners roughly 3 to 5 days before your biopsy. This helps lower the risk of bleeding.
- Provider Instructions: Talk with your medical provider before your biopsy to see if they have any instructions based on your unique needs. Follow their instructions before the exam.
Breast Cancer Screening in Houston
It is recommended that women of average risk for breast cancer get screened when they turn 40. Those at higher risk may need to get screened earlier on. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about when and how often you should get screened. The team at Pink Door Imaging have provided accurate and timely results to countless patients. If you are due for a breast cancer screening in Houston, schedule your appointment today.