Types and Preparation for Biopsy | Oncology


What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a medical procedure that takes a small sample of tissue so that it can be examined under a microscope. Tissue samples can be taken from almost any part of the body, including the skin, stomach, kidneys, liver, and lungs. The term is often used to refer to the process of sampling and sampling tissue. In some cases, your doctor may decide that a sample of your tissue or cells is needed to help diagnose a disease or help diagnose cancer.

The removal of tissue or cells for analysis is called a biopsy. Although the biopsy may seem scary, it is important to remember that most are completely painless and low-risk procedures. Depending on your condition, part of the suspicious skin, tissue, organ, or tumor may be surgically removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Why is a biopsy done?

If you have symptoms that are generally associated with cancer and your doctor finds an area of ​​concern, you may need a biopsy to help determine if the area is cancerous. It is the only way to diagnose most cancers. Imaging tests such as CT scans and X-rays can help identify areas of concern, but they cannot differentiate between cancer and non-cancer cells.

Biopsies are often associated with cancer, but just because your doctor ordered a biopsy does not mean you have cancer. Doctors use biopsies to check if abnormalities in your body are due to cancer or other conditions.

For example, if a woman has a breast lump, an imaging test can confirm the lump, but it is the only way to confirm that it is another non-cancerous condition, such as breast cancer or polycystic fibrosis.

What is a biopsy used for?

Biopsies can help investigate the cause of a person’s symptoms or diagnose many health conditions. When a condition has already been diagnosed, a biopsy can be used to measure how severe or stage it is. It is impossible to be sure by looking at or feeling that a lump or growth on the skin or inside the body is cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

It provides this information. Diagnosis is very difficult and requires several tests, including multiple biopsies.

Types of biopsies

There are many types of biopsies. Your doctor should choose the type to use based on your condition and your body area. Regardless of the type, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the incision area.

Bone marrow biopsy

Within large bones, such as the hip or leg bone, blood cells are made in a soft substance called the marrow.

If your doctor suspects that you have problems with your blood, you may want to have a bone marrow biopsy. This test distinguishes between cancer and non-cancerous conditions, such as leukemia, anemia, infection, or lymphoma. This test is also used to check if cancer cells have spread to your bones from another part of the body.

The bone marrow can be easily accessed using a long needle inserted into its earpiece. The insides of the bones cannot be repelled, so some people feel a dull ache in the process. However, others experience only an initial sharp pain when the local anesthetic is injected.

Endoscopic biopsy

Endoscopic biopsies are used to collect samples from areas such as the bladder, colon, or lungs to reach tissues inside the body.

During this procedure, your doctor will use a flexible tube called an endoscope. The endoscope has a small camera and a light at the end. The video monitor allows your doctor to view images. Small surgical instruments are also inserted into the endoscope. Using video, your doctor can guide you through these to collect a sample.

The endoscope can be inserted through a small incision in your body or through any opening in the body, including the mouth, nose, rectum, or urethra. Endoscopies usually take between five and 20 minutes.

Later, you may feel a little uncomfortable or have bloating, gas, or a sore throat. All of these will pass over time, but if you have anxiety, you should see your doctor.

Needle biopsies

Needle biopsies are used to collect samples of skin or any tissue that is easily accessible under the skin. The different types of needle biopsies include the following:

  • Core needle biopsies use a medium-sized needle to remove a column of tissue, similarly, core samples are taken from the ground.
  • Fine needle biopsies use a fine needle attached to a syringe to remove fluid and particles.
  • Image-guided biopsies are guided by imaging procedures, such as X-rays or CT scans, so your doctor can access specific areas such as the lungs, liver, or other organs.
  • Vacuum-assisted biopsies use the suction of a vacuum to collect cells.

Skin biopsy

If you have a skin rash or hematoma that you suspect of a specific condition, do not respond to the treatment prescribed by your doctor, or do not know the cause, your doctor may order or order a biopsy of the affected skin area. . This can be done using local anesthesia and removing a small part with a razor blade, a scalpel, or a small circular blade. The sample is sent to a laboratory to look for evidence of conditions such as infection, cancer, and skin structures, or inflammation of the blood vessels.

Surgical biopsy

Sometimes the patient may have an area of ​​concern that cannot be reached safely or effectively using the methods described above, or the results of other biopsy samples may be negative. An example is a tumor in the abdomen near the aorta. In this case, a surgeon may need to obtain a sample using a laparoscope or by making a conventional incision.

How to prepare

Biopsies do not require the patient’s bowel preparation, clear liquid foods, or anything by mouth. Your doctor will prescribe what to do before the procedure.

As always before a medical procedure, tell your doctor what medications and medications you are taking. You can stop taking certain medications before the biopsy, such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

What to expect

Biopsies vary greatly depending on how difficult it is to obtain tissue. The medical term for this is “invasiveness.”

A minimally invasive biopsy (eg, most skin biopsies) can be done in the doctor’s office during the same visit that the lesion was found. Numbness medicine makes the process of a small injection of the medicine almost painless. More invasive biopsies may be done in the hospital, surgical center, or specialty office. You will make a special appointment for it.

In most cases, sedatives and pain relievers are given, which reduce discomfort. You will not be able to drive after taking these medications. You may have a sore throat for a few days at the biopsy site. If you have significant pain from the biopsy, your doctor may prescribe appropriate pain relievers.

What happens after a biopsy?

Once the tissue is collected and preserved, it is handed over to the pathologist. Doctors who specialize in diagnosing conditions based on tissue samples and other tests. A pathologist examines the biopsy tissue under a microscope. In most cases, a pathologist can diagnose the problem by looking at the type, shape, and internal activity of cells in the tissue.

The time to get the biopsy results varies. During surgery, a pathologist can read it and report back to the surgeon within minutes. Final, highly accurate biopsy findings usually take a week or more. You will follow up with your GP to discuss the results of it.

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