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Fine-needle biopsy is a simple, cost-effective technique to diagnose many benign and malignant diseases in the breasts. A thin needle is placed within a palpable lump. If the lump is a simple cyst, the fluid within the cyst is removed into a syringe. If the lump is a solid growth, then the tip of the needle is passed back and forth multiple times obtain cells for further analysis.
You will probably feel only minor discomfort. The risks are relatively minor, such as bruising in the tissue after the needle insertion. Very rarely, the needle can rupture the lung if it’s inserted too deeply beneath the breast. Infections are extremely uncommon.
Fine-needle biopsy can reduce the need for more extensive surgical procedures. Draining a lump (cyst) is simple and can reduce discomfort and make the lump go away. Solid lumps can be checked for cancer.
Fine-needle biopsy may not always detect a cancer. If the report is normal, you need further follow-up and do other tests based on what your doctor recommends. Another physical exam or mammogram within the next year may be required. If any one of the tests is not normal, a surgical biopsy may be needed.