Breast Biopsy is the only way to conclusively diagnose breast cancer.
While clinical assessment clues such as findings on a breast exam or breast imaging results may be strongly suggestive of a breast cancer diagnosis, pathological analysis of breast tissue is necessary for a definitive diagnosis of breast cancer and determination of its stage and classification.
Breast biopsy is a procedure in which part or all of a suspicious breast growth is removed by a surgeon or a radiologist, via a needle or excision, and examined pathologically to determine whether the growth is malignant (cancerous) or benign.
The ability of the physician performing the biopsy to remove a large enough tissue sample, as well as to determine the most appropriate location (or locations) from where the sample (or samples) should be taken, is cardinal to the reliability of the biopsy result.
Optimally, all biopsies should be done under MRI imaging, to assure the removed tissue is indeed sufficient and representative of the suspicious tissue. However, such MRI-guided breast biopsy is very expensive and is not available in most medical facilities.
The technology in development aims to improve patients care by providing real time tissue assessment