If it woman performs a self examination of your breasts and finds a thickening of the tissue or a lump, breast cancer becomes suspected. Women also look out for lumps in the armpit, nipple discharges, scaly skin, nipple inversion or retraction, reddening of the skin, a change in the shape or size of the breast, breast pain, and nipple itching. None of these symptoms necessarily mean that cancer is present. However, it does mean that a woman will require an examination. At that point, a doctor will be able to complete a palpitation to confirm whether or not a lump is present. They may also request an MRI scan or a mammography. Should a lump be found, than a breast biopsy procedure will be required.
The Breast Biopsy Procedure
During a breast biopsy procedure, a little bit of tissue from the lump is removed. This can be done through either invasive or non-invasive means. An invasive biopsy means that an incision is made from which sample tissue was taken. If only a small lump is found, it’s may be removed in its entirety. And non-invasive biopsy is one where a fine needle aspiration, a vacuum assisted aspiration, or a core needle aspiration is completed. This means and needle, of varying sizes, is used to extract samples of the lump and also of surrounding tissue.
Breast biopsy can be completed in out-patient clinics or hospitals, depending on which examination is required. Usually, a local anaesthetic is all that is required, particularly for non-invasive procedures. A biopsy is usually completed very rapidly and there is a minimal chance of complications, particularly if proper wound care is offered to minimize infection risk. Some pain or discomfort may be felt after the procedure but this can usually be reduced with over the counter pain relievers.
Once the results of the biopsy came back, they will either be normal or abnormal. A normal result indicates there is no cancer. An abnormal result shows that the lump is problematic, although it still does not mean it is cancerous. It could be a benign growth, which means that is non cancerous, and those include adenofibroma, fat necrosis, papilloma, or cysts. Unfortunately, it is also possible for it to be a malignant growth, which means it is cancerous. In this case, it could be an inflammatory carcinoma, a circumscribed or medullary carcinoma, a sarcoma, lobular carcinoma, a colloid carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma, or an infiltrating ductal carcinoma.
If the lump is found to be benign, there will be no need for any further treatment. However, the physician will usually recommend regular check ups to ensure there is no change to the lump. If it is malignant, further testing may be recommended or, in some cases, immediate treatment should be started. It is recommended to have a second opinion if there is time for this to explore the different options that are available. Finally, remember that the sooner breast cancer is found, the more likely it is that the woman will recover.