A breast biopsy is a procedure in which part or all of a suspicious area in the breast is removed and examined, usually for the presence of cancer. The growth sample is suctioned out through a needle or cut out using a surgical procedure. A pathologist then examines and evaluates it under a microscope to identify non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant) tissue.
The breast biopsy is used to determine whether or not a worrisome abnormality or area of calcification is cancer and, if it is cancer, what type it is and how to develop a treatment plan. When no cancer is detected, the diagnosis of a benign or harmless lump is reassuring.