Biopsy: Types of biopsy procedures used to diagnose cancer

News — By on April 6, 2010 at 6:11 am

You might be nervous about an upcoming biopsy. Learning about biopsies, how and why they’re performed, may help reduce your anxiety.

A biopsy is a procedure to remove a piece of tissue or a sample of cells from your body so that it can be analyzed in a laboratory. If you’re experiencing certain signs and symptoms or if your doctor has identified an area of concern, you may undergo a biopsy to determine whether you have cancer or some other condition.

While imaging tests, such as X-rays, are helpful in detecting masses or areas of abnormality, they alone can’t differentiate cancerous cells from noncancerous cells. For the majority of cancers, the only way to make a definitive diagnosis is to use a biopsy to collect cells for closer examination.
Here’s a look at the various types of biopsy procedures used to diagnose cancer.

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