What Types Of Biopsies Are Used For Cancer Diagnosis

Author : HSI MEDICAL | Published On : 15 Sep 2021

A biopsy is a procedure that removes a small amount of tissue from your body. A biopsy may be performed if you are experiencing signs or symptoms, or if your doctor has found a problem area.


Although imaging tests such as X-rays can help to detect masses and other abnormalities, they cannot distinguish cancerous cells from healthy cells. A biopsy is the best way to determine the cause of most cancers.


Here are the different types of biopsy used to diagnose cancer:



  1. Needle biopsy:

Your doctor will use a special needle known as biopsy needle during a needle biopsy to remove cells from any suspicious areas.


A needle biopsy can be used to remove tumors that are difficult for your doctor to feel, such as suspicious breast lumps or enlarged lymph nodes. A needle biopsy, when combined with an imaging procedure such as X-rays, can be used to remove cells from suspicious areas that cannot be felt through your skin.


The following are some of the options for needle biopsy:

  • Fine-needle Aspiration- A long, thin needle is used to aspirate the area of concern. To draw out fluid or cells for analysis, a syringe can be used.


  • Core needle biopsy- To remove a column from a suspicious area, a larger needle with a tip is used.


  • Vacuum-assisted biopsy- A suction device increases fluid and cell extractions through the needle during a vacuum-assisted procedure. This reduces the need to insert the needle multiple times in order to obtain a sufficient sample.


  • Image-guided biopsy- This technique combines an imaging procedure (such as X-rays, computerized tomography, or CT), with a needle biopsy.


  1. Bone Marrow biopsy:

If you have a suspicious finding in your blood, or if your doctor believes that cancer may have spread to your bone marrow, your doctor might recommend a bone marrow biopsy.


Bone marrow, which is the spongy substance inside your bones that house blood cells, is where you find them. An analysis of bone marrow can reveal the cause of your blood problems.


A bone marrow biopsy can be used to diagnose many blood conditions, both cancerous and non-cancerous. This includes blood cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, and leukemia. The bone marrow biopsy can also be used to detect cancers that originated elsewhere and have traveled to the bone.


Your doctor will take a sample from your hipbone to determine the bone marrow content. Your doctor may also biopsy bone marrow from other parts of your body in some cases. To minimize discomfort, a local anesthetic is applied before you have a bone marrow biopsy.



  1. Endoscopic biopsy:

Your doctor will use an endoscope (a thin flexible tube) to view structures within your body during endoscopy. To analyze a small amount of tissue, special tools are used to pass through the tube.


Depending on the location of the suspicious area, which type of endoscopic biopsy will you need depends on what kind. Endoscopic biopsy tubes can be inserted through the mouth, rectum, or urinary tract. Endoscopic biopsy procedures include colonoscopy, which collects tissue from your colon, bronchoscopy, which collects tissue from your bladder, and cystoscopy, which collects tissue from your lung.


You may be given a sedative before or after an endoscopic biopsy depending on what type you have.


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