Additional Diagnostic Evaluations

Sometimes a screen mammogram requires additional tests or breast ultrasound. If something abnormal is found on the mammogram, a biopsy may be required in a small percentage of women. A biopsy is the only sure way to know if cancer is present.

If your physician recommends your for a breast biopsy, Hallmark Health’s Mammography Care Liaison is there to help you each step of the way. Our Mammography Care Liaison will confirm the request with your physician and provide you with any information you may need, answer your questions and help you set-up your appointments. After your biopsy, the Mammography Care Liaison is there to assist you with whatever course of action may be required. If your physician has determined you need a biopsy and you have questions, feel free to contact the Mammography Care Liaison’s office at 781-665-8300.

We perform several types of biopsies, depending on the position and size of a suspicious lump:

  • Stereotactic biopsy: the newest type of biopsy for breast cancer, the stereotactic biopsy uses a computer to enable healthcare providers to locate and obtain a sample of the precise center of the questionable area. It uses x-rays taken from multiple angles, and a special biopsy needle. This is a safe, simple, non-invasive, and only mildly uncomfortable procedure. Most patients can resume normal activities immediately afterward.
  • Surgical biopsy: this type of biopsy yields the largest breast tissue samples and accuracy of diagnosis is nearly 100%. While a patient is under general anesthesia, a surgeon will attempt to completely remove the area of concern, often along with a surrounding margin of normal breast tissue.
  • Core needle biopsy: this 30-minute procedure involves the removal of small samples of breast tissue using a hollow "core" needle. This biopsy can rule out cancer, but inconclusive findings may lead to additional procedures.
  • Fine needle aspiration: this biopsy uses a thin needle on a syringe to draw fluid and/or cellular material from a breast abnormality. While a suspicious finding may lead to further tests, a clearly benign diagnosis may prevent patients from undergoing surgery.

A pathologist and physician will review the biopsy results and recommend further tests or treatments if needed. To learn more about cancer care, click here.

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