Core Biopsy or Fine Needle Aspiration

If you have a lump the doctor may do one of two tests to get a sample of the tissue/cells from the lump.

  • A core biopsy is when a needle is inserted into your breast lump to get a sample of the lump.  Local anaesthetic is used prior to the insertion of the needle to numb the area and reduce pain.
  • A fine needle aspiration (FNA) is when some fluid or cells are removed from a lump through a smaller needle.

Ultrasound or mammography equipment may be used to assist the doctor in obtaining the tissue/cells.

The cells or tissue are sent to the Laboratory and examined under a microscope.  The results are not available on the day of your clinic visit and you will be asked to return to the clinic at a later date.

The biopsy can be sore.  However local anaesthetic is given and the procedure only takes a few minutes. Occasionally there may be a little bleeding or bruising.