Stereotactic Guided Biopsy
A stereotactic biopsy is used to make samples from an abnormality seen on a mammogram that cannot be felt or seen without ultrasound. With this procedure, less tissue is removed than with traditional open surgery, and a lesion does not need to be seen in two views to be able to biopsy it accurately. A stereotactic guided biopsy is less invasive with minimal scarring.
Using a special table and mammography to localize the lesion, the radiologist and/or surgeon target the lesion. The computer then calculates where the lesion is in the breast and positions the biopsy probe to the lesion with extreme accuracy. Under local anesthesia, a very small incision (5mm) is made in the breast and a vacuum-assisted needle is inserted allowing multiple specimens to be taken. The tissues are sent to pathology to determine if the lesion is malignant.
Sentinel Node Biopsy
In some cases, physicians perform a sentinel node biopsy. This test is considered highly accurate and is performed to determine if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This procedure dramatically reduces the risk of lymphedema and other arm problems.
Breast ultrasound is a procedure used for further evaluation of a palpable breast abnormality or a density specific lump seen on mammography. It is an imaging technique using high frequency sound waves to scan the breast. Ultrasound can locate and measure abnormal changes or lesions in the breast and determine if a breast lump is solid (tumor) or filled with liquid (cyst).
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the breast is a noninvasive diagnostic tool used to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities in the breast.
A breast MRI captures multiple images of the breast using a dedicated computer generating detailed images. The study involves obtaining pictures of the breast before and after contrast administration in an effort to display not only the size and shape of a lesion, but how it enhances, which can differentiate benign and malignant lesions.
The radiologist will review the MRI and send a report to the referring physician. Breast MRI is usually performed when a physician needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical breast exam can provide. MRI of the breast is not a replacement of mammography or ultrasound, but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.